Media Coverage: Tuberculosis patients see dramatic cut in treatment duration (cont)
Tuberculosis patients see dramatic cut in treatment duration, treatment effectiveness remains
Tuberculosis patients may see a dramatic cut in treatment duration, according to a groundbreaking study led by Prof Nicholas Paton from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
The standard management strategy for drug-sensitive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is to treat with multiple drugs for six months. However, patients often fail to adhere to the long treatment, leading to poor clinical outcomes including drug resistance, which is expensive and difficult to treat.
The TRUNCATE-TB trial involved 675 patients who were randomly allocated to receive the standard six-month treatment, or an intensive eight-week antibiotic regimen.
Prof Paton said: “This trial shows that it is possible to move away from the standard six-month, one-treatment-duration-for-all approach which is long and may not be needed for everyone. Instead, we can treat most people with a two-to-three-month intensified treatment, provided that they remain in clinical care for monitoring after the end of treatment so that the minority who are not completely cured and require longer treatment can be detected and re-treated.”
The results have the potential to transform the way people think about treating tuberculosis, and the way that clinical trials are done. With further work to refine the strategy, this new, more individualised approach to treatment will likely replace the standard six-month fixed duration approach for all.
The trial was designed and coordinated from Singapore across a network of 18 sites in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India and Uganda, Africa.
The research team comprised researchers from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), National University Hospital (NUH) and CRIS’ programme, the Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI).
SCRI facilitated this multi-site trial by providing support in patient randomisation, data management, pharmacovigilance, and statistical analysis.
The SCRI data management team designed the database, as well as managed the data collection and transfer process. Due to the use of novel approaches of the TRUNCATE-TB management strategy, there was a need for close monitoring of the study sites to ensure all personnel followed the respective trial SOPs meticulously. SCRI designed customised report templates of varying complexities to achieve the desired level of central monitoring.
Click here to read more about the study in the press release by NUS.
Read the paper which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Read more about the story in the media coverage below: