The 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico in October 2017 brought together physicians, researchers, public health professionals, community engagement stakeholders and the global TB community to collaborate, share experiences, and learn about global efforts for TB control. The TREAT TB Initiative highlighted its work through various fora at the conference. Some of our many events are highlighted below.
Release of Preliminary Stage 1 Results
STREAM is the world’s first multi-country randomized clinical trial to test the efficacy, safety, and economic impact of shortened multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment regimens. Preliminary results for Stage 1 of the STREAM trial were released at The Union Conference at a symposium attended by more than 150 people. The preliminary results suggest the efficacy of the nine-month intervention regimen will be very close to the regimen recommended in the 2011 WHO guidelines, which has a duration of 20-24 months – both achieving favorable treatment outcomes in roughly 80% of participants. However, statistically, the preliminary results did not permit a conclusion to be made that the nine-month regimen meets the predetermined definition of non-inferiority to the 20-24 month regimen. Preliminary data from the health economics component of the trial demonstrated important savings for both the patient and the health system with the shortened treatment regimen.
5th Annual STREAM Investigators’ Meeting
In Guadalajara, investigators from STREAM trial sites around the world gathered for two days after the conference to share lessons learned and experiences with the trial.
Community engagement leaders from STREAM sites in South Africa, Uganda, Georgia, Moldova, and Mongolia traveled to Guadalajara, where they led two sessions in the Encuentro space focused on building capacity for meaningful community engagement in research. Their sessions included a panel discussion to explore key challenges in community engagement – including how to improve sustainability and the role of the community in translating research results into policy change. A second group, led by STREAM South African sites, held a skills-building session aimed at improving communications strategies for clinical trials using skits, testimonies, and small group discussions. The STREAM community engagement stakeholders also participated in meetings with the STREAM team to develop next year’s work plans and to share experiences from the preceding year.
TB and MDR-TB are serious threats to public health in Peru. TREAT TB conducted an operational research (OR) course for NTP staff in Peru aimed at providing them with the OR skills needed to strengthen TB control activities in the country. Abstracts from the participants’ research were presented at various events at the conference including a symposium on OR in Latin America, an oral abstract session, and two poster sessions.