Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
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Rheumatology Clinical Trials

The following searchable list includes all the Division of Rheumatology - Department of Medicine clinical trials currently looking for participants. Please feel free to contact us with inquiries about any of our ongoing research.

Trials
Northwestern Scleroderma Program Patient Registry
The Scleroderma Patient Registry collects clinical information and biological samples for patients seen at the Northwestern Scleroderma Program (NSP). The information collected is used for studies designed to increase our understanding about the cours…
The Scleroderma Patient Registry collects clinical information and biological samples for patients seen at the Northwestern Scleroderma Program (NSP). The information collected is used for studies designed to increase our understanding about the course of the disease and the care and outcomes of scleroderma patients. Researchers conduct studies to learn more about scleroderma, understand why the skin and other internal organs become thickened and hardened (fibrotic) in people with scleroderma, and determine what therapies are effective for treating scleroderma. The registry also allows us to identify possible patients for future studies related to scleroderma. There are five optional components of the Registry: completion of health questionnaires, skin biopsies at two different time points, annual blood collection, and participation in NUgene.
Patients ≥18 years old with a diagnosis of scleroderma (including all sub-types of disease) as defined by American College of Rheumatology criteria or scleroderma mimic disorder, localized scleroderma, or very early diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (VEDOSS), per physician assessment.
Hinchcliff, Monique EHinchcliff, Monique E
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00002669
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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Predictive Ability of Gene Expression Signatures in Skin as SSc Biomarkers
This study is being done because all therapies for scleroderma are associated with potential side effects. Given this fact, it is essential to be able to predict response to various experimental treatments in order minimize th…
This study is being done because all therapies for scleroderma are associated with potential side effects. Given this fact, it is essential to be able to predict response to various experimental treatments in order minimize the risk of side effects while improving the chance of clinical benefit. Using genomic (DNA expression) information gathered from skin biopsies from patients who respond to individual therapies, and associated clinical information, we hope to be able to accurately predict the likelihood of treatment response for individuals with scleroderma. This study involves skin biopsies at five seperate visits, blood collection, and some health questionnaires.
-Patients >18 years old with a diagnosis of lcSSc, dcSSc, localized scleroderma, or a scleroderma mimic disorder as defined by American College of Rheumatology criteria who will be beginning a new disease-modifying treatment for their disease.
-Must not be currently pregnant or nursing.
Hinchcliff, Monique EHinchcliff, Monique E
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00004428
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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Chicago Lupus Database
Establishing in 1991 and maintained by Northwestern University, the Chicago Lupus Database (CLD) is a registry of individuals with lupus who are willing to be contacted about future lupus research studies for which they might be eligible. Participants can enroll in any number …
Establishing in 1991 and maintained by Northwestern University, the Chicago Lupus Database (CLD) is a registry of individuals with lupus who are willing to be contacted about future lupus research studies for which they might be eligible. Participants can enroll in any number of research studies designed to help us learn more about lupus.
Men and women 18 years or older with either a probable or definite lupus diagnosis can sign up for the Chicago Lupus Database.
Ramsey-Goldman, RosalindRamsey-Goldman, Rosalind
STU00009193
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312 503 1919
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Alterations in Gene Expression in the Scleroderma Esophagus
The purpose of this study is to learn more about how Scleroderma (SSc) affects the esophagus to cause symptoms such as heartburn and trouble swallowing (dysphagia). We also want to learn whether the problems that cause esophageal symptoms ar…
The purpose of this study is to learn more about how Scleroderma (SSc) affects the esophagus to cause symptoms such as heartburn and trouble swallowing (dysphagia). We also want to learn whether the problems that cause esophageal symptoms are the same as the problems that cause SSc skin tightening and lung disease. We will collect skin, esophageal and stomach biopsies (small pieces of tissue) to be used for several studies.
Must not be:
- Pregnant or nursing (hormones associated with pregnancy and lactation are known to affect esophageal function)
- Obese (i.e. BMI ≥30)
- Known medical illnesses that could affect esophageal function, gene expression or histology (achalasia, esophageal stricture, esophageal cancer)
- Have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction or score of 2 or higher on the CAGE questionnaire
- Allergies to Fentanyl or Midolazam (sedatives used during endoscopy)
- Allergies to Lidocaine
Hinchcliff, Monique EHinchcliff, Monique E
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00021381
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Thakrar, Anjali 312 503 1120
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Genome Research in African American Scleroderma Patients (GRASP)
Previous scleroderma studies have found that the risk of developing scleroderma is higher among African Americans than in Caucasians. The purpose of this study is to determine how variations in genes (or inherited traits) may explain t…
Previous scleroderma studies have found that the risk of developing scleroderma is higher among African Americans than in Caucasians. The purpose of this study is to determine how variations in genes (or inherited traits) may explain the different risk in developing scleroderma seen in African American patients compared to other populations. Participants will complete a brief health questionnaire and provide two tubes of blood.
African American patients who are evaluated at the Northwestern Scleroderma Program and meet criteria for the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis, Age ≥ 18 years old
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00069421
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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A Prospective Study to Identify Risk Factors for Progressive Calcinosis in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: A Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Study
This study is being done in order to help researchers learn more about calcinosis that affect patients with systemic sclerosis. Calcinosis cutis …
This study is being done in order to help researchers learn more about calcinosis that affect patients with systemic sclerosis. Calcinosis cutis is a rare disorder characterized by calcium deposition in skin and subcutaneous tissues. We will develop a prospective database of SSc patients with calcinosis in order to better understand the natural history, clinical associations, and pathophysiology of this condition.
Must have a diagnosis of Scleroderma. Must not have an overlap connective tissue disease or a diagnosis of mixed connective tissue disease. Must be over the age of 18.
Hinchcliff, Monique EHinchcliff, Monique E
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00088949
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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The Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network (SPIN) Cohort
The Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network (SPIN) is an organization that was established by researchers, health care providers, and people living with scleroderma from Canada, the USA, and Europe. The objectives of SPIN a…
The Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network (SPIN) is an organization that was established by researchers, health care providers, and people living with scleroderma from Canada, the USA, and Europe. The objectives of SPIN are: 1. To learn more about important problems faced by people living with scleroderma (e.g., fatigue, emotional distress, physical limitations). 2. To develop and test internet-based interventions to support people in their efforts to cope with living with scleroderma. Participants will be asked to complete quality of life questionnaires via the internet every 3 months.
Diagnosis of scleroderma. Fluent in English. Must have access to the Internet to complete questionnaires.
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00092924
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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Healthy Control Esophageal Registry and Biorepository
This study is being done to compare how the esophagus and upper stomach work in people who have Scleroderma with symptoms of reflux disease or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) to healthy controls. We will collect skin, esophageal and stomach biop…
This study is being done to compare how the esophagus and upper stomach work in people who have Scleroderma with symptoms of reflux disease or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) to healthy controls. We will collect skin, esophageal and stomach biopsies (small pieces of tissue) to be used for several studies.
Must not be:
- Obese (i.e. BMI ≥30)
- Known medical illnesses that could affect esophageal function, gene expression or histology
- Have a diagnosis of an eating disorder
- Have a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease
- A current or previous smoker (smoked >100 cigarettes in lifetime)
- Have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction or score of 2 or higher on the CAGE questionnaire
- Taking antacids and/or proton pump inhibitors for heartburn
- Allergies to Fentanyl or Midolazam (sedatives used during endoscopy)
- Allergies to Lidocaine (Lidocaine anesthetic jelly used during manometry).
- Pregnant or nursing (hormones associated with pregnancy and lactation are known to affect esophageal function)
Carlson, DustinCarlson, Dustin
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00096856
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Thakrar, Anjali 312 503 1120
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial tissue Network
We know that in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), considerable thickening of the lining layer (synovium) in the joints occurs. This represents the accumulation of new cells and tissue. We would like to learn more about what contributes to the disease progression …
We know that in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), considerable thickening of the lining layer (synovium) in the joints occurs. This represents the accumulation of new cells and tissue. We would like to learn more about what contributes to the disease progression of RA and why some people respond to RA therapy, while others do not. To do this, we will examine the cells, genetic material, proteins and other features in the tissue from the inflamed joints and blood of patients with RA. We hope that by studying this tissue and blood, we may learn information that may help lead to the development of new treatments for this disease.
• Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
• Must have been 18 years of age or older at the time of diagnosis of RA.
• At least one swollen joint (elbow, writs, knee, ankle, or shoulder) due to active RA.
Pope, Richard MPope, Richard M
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00104822
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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SPARC: Gene expression profiling in scleroderma to discover therapeutic targets and predict clinical course
The purpose of this study is to identify and validate a molecular classification of scleroderma that will allow us to predict which patients will develop specific complications and to match tar…
The purpose of this study is to identify and validate a molecular classification of scleroderma that will allow us to predict which patients will develop specific complications and to match targeted treatments to the appropriate patients. The study will also focus on identifying inflammatory and fibrotic molecular pathways that are important in the disease Participants will be asked to give: - Two punch skin biopsies from the forearm (size of a pencil eraser) - Two tubes of blood - Urine collection Participants will be paid $110 for the one-time study visit. We are recruiting both patients with scleroderma and healthy control subjects.
Participants must be: Over age 18, No chronic skin conditions, No rheumatic autoimmune diagnosis (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma), Not currently pregnant.
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00200631
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Carns, Mary (312) 503 1137
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Molecular Biomarkers of Improvement for Patients with Systemic Sclerosis
The purpose of this study is to identify a method to predict disease course for each individual patient with scleroderma. We will identify gene expression signatures in skin (i.e., the genes that are being “read” to make pr…
The purpose of this study is to identify a method to predict disease course for each individual patient with scleroderma. We will identify gene expression signatures in skin (i.e., the genes that are being “read” to make proteins) in patients with scleroderma compared to healthy people. Signatures will be determined by measuring RNA (i.e., ribonucleic acid, the genetic information that codes for proteins) and DNA (i.e., deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic information that contains your genes) in your skin. We will also identify serum protein signatures in blood. The goal is to develop a model that includes gene expression in skin and serum proteins in blood that can predict scleroderma disease course (improvement or worsening in skin, lung, esophageal, and/or heart disease). Participants will complete a questionnaire, give one tube of blood, and one skin biopsy.
• ≥18 years old
• Able to provide informed consent in English
• Meet 2013 American College of Rheumatology criteria for the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (for patients)
• No chronic skin conditions or diagnosis of a rheumatic autoimmune disease (i.e., SLE, RA) (for healthy controls)
Hinchcliff, Monique EHinchcliff, Monique E
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00202756
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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Northwestern Scleroderma Twins Registry and Biorepository
The purpose of this research is to study twin pairs, in which at least one twin has been diagnosed with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In about 95% of twins with SSc, only one twin has been diagnosed with SSc. Since the DNA (i.e., deoxyribonuclei…
The purpose of this research is to study twin pairs, in which at least one twin has been diagnosed with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In about 95% of twins with SSc, only one twin has been diagnosed with SSc. Since the DNA (i.e., deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic information that contains your genes) is nearly identical in twins, we are interested in studying what happens to change how the genes are read in the twin with SSc (epigenetics), when compared to how the same genes are read in the twin without SSc. Identifying these changes may help us to better understand why SSc occurs and to identify targets for treatment.
• Age ≥ 18 years
• At least one twin meets the 2013 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (affected twin)
• Both twins agree to participate in the research study
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
STU00203621
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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A multi-centre, randomized, double-blind (sponsor open), placebo-controlled, repeat-dose, proof of mechanism study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and explore efficacy of GSK2330811 in participants with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK…
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is developing a new medicine (GSK2330811) for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. GSK2330811 is an antibody which blocks the activity of a substance in the body called Oncostatin M (OSM). Blocking OSM is expected to have a beneficial effect on some of the disease processes in systemic sclerosis (such as fibrosis and inflammation). GSK2330811 is not yet approved for doctors to treat patients with systemic sclerosis. The purpose of this study is to test GSK2330811 in patients with systemic sclerosis. This is the first time GSK2330811 has been tested in people with systemic sclerosis. Some people in this study will be randomly assigned to take GSK2330811 and others will be randomly assigned to take a placebo. The effects of the drug, both good and bad, will be compared to people who are not taking the drug. The drug will be administered as an injection under the skin, and additional research tests and procedures will be performed. The study involves 11 visits to the clinic over 8-9 months.
• Diagnosis of diffuse systemic sclerosis for less than 5 years
• Skin score of at least 10
• Worsening skin disease
• Stable dose of current medications
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
NCT03041025 STU00205162
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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xIRB A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Trial to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Lenabasum in Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis
This is a Phase 3 multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study assessing the efficacy and safety of lenabasum (an expe…
This is a Phase 3 multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study assessing the efficacy and safety of lenabasum (an experimental drug) for the treatment of diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). Approximately 354 subjects will be enrolled in this study at about 60 sites in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The planned duration of treatment with study drug is 52 weeks. The study will involve 12 study visits to Northwestern over the course of one year.
Diagnosis of diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc), disease duration < 6 years, skin score greater than 15 if disease duration is more than 3 years, no new or increased doses of immunosuppresive medications within 8 weeks
Varga, JohnVarga, John
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago, IL
NCT03398837 STU00206445
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC) Genetic Repository One Time DNA Protocol
The study is being done to identify genes that increase the risk of developing vasculitis. The purpose of the study is to: Collect clinical data and genetic information (DNA) on patients with vasculitis; Discover…
The study is being done to identify genes that increase the risk of developing vasculitis. The purpose of the study is to: Collect clinical data and genetic information (DNA) on patients with vasculitis; Discover genetic markers that increase the risk of developing vasculitis; Discover genetic markers linked with certain symptoms of vasculitis. The study involves donating two tubes of blood for the collection of genetic information (DNA) at one study visit.
- Giant Cell Arteritis
- Takayasu’s Arteritis
- Polyarteritis Nodosa
- Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s)
- Microscopic Polyangiitis
- Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss)
Archer, AmyArcher, Amy
  • Map it 633 N. St. Clair St.
    Chicago , IL
STU00206908
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Carns, Mary 312 503 1137
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