Cape Town, South Africa: An effective and short treatment to treat Multi-Drug resistant (MDR) Tuberculosis (TB) is in the offing, with preliminary findings from clinical studies showi
Cape Town, South Africa:
An effective and short treatment to treat Multi-Drug resistant (MDR) Tuberculosis (TB) is in the offing, with preliminary findings from clinical studies showing promise for a shorter 9 month treatment course for MDR TB.
The findings presented at the 46th Union World conference on lung health in Cape Town revealed that the new regimen is likely to save lives of many who are otherwise not easy to be treated and suffer serious side effects due to the lengthy treatment.
With success rate of more than 80 percent, the new regimen experts say-doesn't lead to "unmanageable" side effects. At present the standard treatment length recommended by the World Health Organisation requires 24 months of treatment with frequent injections.
However, updates to WHO’s MDR-TB treatment guidelines are anticipated in 2016, and experts hope that data provided by the studies will have an important impact on these new treatment guidelines.
In their study involving 507 adult patients from nine countries, experts found that 80.9% had treatment success, 7.7% died, 6.5% were lost to follow-up and 4.9% were treatment failures.
"Arnaud Trebucq of The Union, a lead investigator of the study said that "Implementing the shortened regimen is proving feasible and with improved outcomes compared with the standard MDR-TB treatment".
The experts are also waiting for findings for another STREAM trial, sponsored by The Union and implemented with support the Medical Research Council (UK) and from USAID, which is also testing the efficacy of a 9-month MDR-TB treatment regimen. The first phase of the trial is ongoing in Durban, Sizwe and Pietermaritzburg, Vietnam and Mongolia
STREAM is the first randomized clinical trial of this scope being conducted in Mongolia for any disease. Patient enrollment has completed with 420 patients included in the study and results are anticipated in 2017.
The STREAM trial is also expanding to test another 9-month MDR-TB treatment regimen using bedaquiline, a novel medicine. These trials will test two additional MDR-TB treatment regimens-a 9-month all-oral regimen that does not require injections, and an even shorter 6-month regimen.
“Among all the infectious diseases, MDR-TB has required one of the longest and most complex courses of treatment,” said I.D. Rusen, Senior Vice President, Research and Development for The Union, which coordinated the study.