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New Study: TB can be treated in as little as 2 months

Newsman: –A promising study presented at The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2022, the TRUNCATE TB trial, has revealed that some people who have TB can be treated in as little as two months, as opposed to six months of treatment that has been the standard of care in most countries since the 1980s.

The Union World Conference on Lung Health, convened by The Union, is the world’s largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health program managers, policymakers, researchers, affected communities and advocates working to end the suffering caused by lung disease, with a focus specifically on the challenges faced by low-and lower-middle income populations.

The Union Media Centre said in release this week , the rationale behind the TRUNCATE TB study, according to Erlina Burhan, a TB expert from the Faculty of Medicine Univeritas Indonesia, is that we are over treating majority of people who have drug-susceptible TB (DS-TB) who would actually be cured before the 6-month mark, to prevent relapse in a minority of people who would need the long treatment regimen. This eye-opening study has revealed that the standard six-month treatment is actually over-treating a lot of people who have TB, which is the world’s leading infectious killer.

The TRUNCATE-TB Trial is a randomized controlled trial conducted at 18 sites in five countries (Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, India and Uganda) and coordinated from Singapore. The trial investigates a treatment strategy comprising an initial 2-month treatment course (using regimens combining standard and repurposed drugs intended to boost regimen sterilizing efficacy), followed by close monitoring and early retreatment of relapses. A total of 674 trial participants were recruited from March 2018 to March 2022 from these 5 countries.

Trial participants were initially given eight weeks of treatment, with the option of extending treatment to 10 to 12 weeks if they had persistent clinical disease after the eight-week treatment. If there was still active TB after that, participants were switched to the standard six-month treatment. It was noted that overall death rate was low and there was no difference in the death rate between the standard treatment arm and the TRUNCATE strategy arms.

Organizing international conferences on TB and related subjects has been a core activity of The Union since its founding in 1920.
The Union Established in 1920, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) is committed to creating a healthier world for all, free of tuberculosis and lung disease.
The Union is the world’s first global health organization and a global leader in ending TB. Its members, staff, and consultants work in more than 140 countries.

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