Rationale: Improving treatment outcomes while reducing drug toxicity and shortening the treatment duration to ~6 months remains an aspirational goal for the treatment of multidrug-resistant/rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/RR-TB). Objectives: To conduct a multicenter randomized controlled trial in adults with MDR/RR-TB (i.e., without resistance to fluoroquinolones or aminoglycosides). Methods: Participants were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to a ~6-month all-oral regimen that included levofloxacin, bedaquiline, and linezolid, or the standard-of-care (SOC) >9-month World Health Organization (WHO)-approved injectable-based regimen. The primary endpoint was a favorable WHO-defined treatment outcome (which mandates that prespecified drug substitution is counted as an unfavorable outcome) 24 months after treatment initiation. The trial was stopped prematurely when bedaquiline-based therapy became the standard of care in South Africa. Measurements and Main Results: In total, 93 of 111 randomized participants (44 in the comparator arm and 49 in the interventional arm) were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis; 51 (55%) were HIV coinfected (median CD4 count, 158 cells/ml). Participants in the intervention arm were 2.2 times more likely to experience a favorable 24-month outcome than participants in the SOC arm (51% [25 of 49] vs. 22.7% [10 of 44]; risk ratio, 2.2 [1.2–4.1]; P = 0.006). Toxicity-related drug substitution occurred more frequently in the SOC arm (65.9% [29 of 44] vs. 34.7% [17 of 49]; P = 0.001)], 82.8% (24 of 29) owing to kanamycin (mainly hearing loss; replaced by bedaquiline) in the SOC arm, and 64.7% (11 of 17) owing to linezolid (mainly anemia) in the interventional arm. Adverse event–related treatment discontinuation in the safety population was more common in the SOC arm (56.4% [31 of 55] vs. 32.1% [17 of 56]; P = 0.007). However, grade 3 adverse events were more common in the interventional arm (55.4% [31 of 56] vs. 32.7 [18 of 55]; P = 0.022). Culture conversion was significantly better in the intervention arm (hazard ratio, 2.6 [1.4–4.9]; P = 0.003) after censoring those with bedaquiline replacement in the SOC arm (and this pattern remained consistent after censoring for drug replacement in both arms; P = 0.01). Conclusions: Compared with traditional injectable-containing regimens, an all-oral 6-month levofloxacin, bedaquiline, and linezolid–containing MDR/RR-TB regimen was associated with a significantly improved 24-month WHO-defined treatment outcome (predominantly owing to toxicity-related drug substitution). However, drug toxicity occurred frequently in both arms. These findings inform strategies to develop future regimens for MDR/RR-TB. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 02454205).
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 15 May 2022|
- all-oral regimen
- drug-resistant tuberculosis
- shortened regimen