In February 2019, Stage 2 of the STREAM Clinical Trial reached a significant milestone when it recruited its 400th patient. STREAM Stage 1 and 2 have now recruited more than 800 patients combined, making STREAM the world’s largest recruited trial for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

The 400th patient to join the trial, 19-year-old Piyush Desai, was recruited to STREAM Stage 2 at the BJMC site in India. Piyush explained his symptoms and experiences of the STREAM Trial so far:

“First I had a fever. Then I developed body pain, a cough and stomach ache. I went to see a doctor in Ranip where they carried out tests, and told me that I had tuberculosis (TB). I had to wait six weeks before I got my results and they gave me medicines. The initial medicines did not cure me, so I was advised to come here.”

Piyush explained that his mother had suffered from TB and died when he was 1-year-old, making him acutely aware of the risks of the disease and the importance of completing the prescribed regimen. “My future depends on me, on how disciplined I am in taking the treatment. Everyone here at BJMC is very helpful. When I came here, the doctors and nurses treated me like a family member and answered all my questions,” said Piyush.

As a participant in the STREAM clinical trial, Piyush can also elect to benefit from the support of the local Community Advisory Board, which provides psychosocial support to patients at the site, encouraging them to continue their treatment.  

STREAM has already contributed important evidence to support the introduction of shorter MDR-TB regimens, and Stage 2 is expected to contribute additional evidence to guide future policy decisions regarding more tolerable, all-oral regimens. Those regimens could revolutionize treatment for MDR-TB patients like Piyush, offering a shorter, less onerous and more cost-effective alternative.

Find more information about the STREAM Trial here.