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Open Access Methods for selecting regimen duration to prevent relapse in drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB

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Predicting the required duration of treatment necessary to yield an acceptable risk of recurrence is a key question facing Phase III trials in both drug-susceptible (DS) and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Data on treatment duration from animal models are increasingly a focus of such studies, but they have not been calibrated against human clinical trials and are lacking in MDR-TB. Empirical meta-regression models based on clinical trials in DS-TB suggest that early bacteriological results and treatment duration may have value in predicting relapse, and have been prospectively validated against the results of three large randomised controlled trials in DS-TB. While few trials have been conducted in MDR-TB to date, and observational cohort data should be interpreted carefully due to bias and confounding, these models also appeared to perform well in two recent cohort studies of MDR-TB. Applying these insights in practice may require innovations in clinical trial design, such as more extensive selection, adaptation and use of multiple durations during Phases II and III. While several studies have identified important individual level prognostic variables that could improve the accuracy of relapse prediction, attempts to stratify treatment duration for individual patients based on these factors have so far met with limited success.
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Keywords: clinical trials; meta-analysis; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institutes of Infection and Global Health and Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK 2: Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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