Colchicine effectiveness in symptom and inflammation modification in knee osteoarthritis (COLKOA): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.


BACKGROUND: Despite the high prevalence and global impact of knee osteoarthritis (KOA), current treatments are palliative. No disease modifying anti-osteoarthritic drug (DMOAD) has been approved. We recently demonstrated significant involvement of uric acid and activation of the innate immune response in osteoarthritis (OA) pathology and progression, suggesting that traditional gout therapy may be beneficial for OA. We therefore assess colchicine, an existing commercially available agent for gout, for a new therapeutic application in KOA. METHODS/DESIGN: COLKOA is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial comparing a 16-week treatment with standard daily dose oral colchicine to placebo for KOA. A total of 120 participants with symptomatic KOA will be recruited from a single center in Singapore. The primary end point is 30% improvement in total Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score at week 16. Secondary end points include improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life and change in serum, urine and synovial fluid biomarkers of cartilage metabolism and inflammation. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) substudy will be conducted in 20 participants to evaluate change in synovitis. Logistic regression will be used to compare changes between groups in an intention-to-treat analysis. DISCUSSION: The COLKOA trial is designed to evaluate whether commercially available colchicine is effective for improving signs and symptoms of KOA, and reducing synovial fluid, serum and urine inflammatory and biochemical joint degradation biomarkers. These biomarkers should provide insights into the underlying mechanism of therapeutic response. This trial will potentially provide data to support a new treatment option for KOA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial has been registered at as NCT02176460 . Date of registration: 26 June 2014.





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Publication Info

Leung, Ying-Ying, Julian Thumboo, Bak Siew Wong, Ben Haaland, Balram Chowbay, Bibhas Chakraborty, Mann Hong Tan, Virginia B Kraus, et al. (2015). Colchicine effectiveness in symptom and inflammation modification in knee osteoarthritis (COLKOA): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16. p. 200. 10.1186/s13063-015-0726-x Retrieved from

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Virginia Byers Kraus

Professor of Medicine

Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, is the Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Pathology and a faculty member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute in the Duke University School of Medicine. She is a practicing Rheumatologist with over 30 years’ experience in translational musculoskeletal research focusing on osteoarthritis, the most common of all arthritides. She trained at Brown University (ScB 1979), Duke University (MD 1982, PhD 1993) and the Duke University School of Medicine (Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Rheumatology). Her career has focused on elucidating osteoarthritis pathogenesis and translational research into the discovery and validation of biomarkers for early osteoarthritis detection, prediction of progression, monitoring of disease status, and facilitation of therapeutic developments. She is co-PI of the Foundation for NIH Biomarkers Consortium Osteoarthritis project. Trained as a molecular biologist and a Rheumatologist, she endeavors to study disease from bedside to bench.

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