Data from a multi-country randomized clinical trial published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine provide evidence that a shorter drug regimen works just as well in certain patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) as the longer regimen.

The results of the first stage of the phase 3 STREAM (Standard Treatment Regimen of Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs for Patients with MDR-TB) trial showed that in patients with rifampin-resistant TB that was susceptible to fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides, a treatment regimen of 9 to 11 months was noninferior to the standard 20-month regimen, producing a favorable outcome in 79% of participants while the longer treatment was effective in 80% of patients.

The findings support previous studies of the “Bangladesh regimen,” a 9- to 11-month treatment that produced cure rates above 80% in patients in Bangladesh but had not been tested against the longer regimen.

Read more at CIDRAP…

See also:

Mar 13 N Engl J Med abstract

Mar 13 N Engl J Med editorial

Mar 13 University College London news release