Exciting results for TB treatment trial

Burnet Institute

24 March, 2021

Image: Burnet Institute Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr Philipp du Cros

Burnet Institute Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr Philipp du Cros has played a key role in an exciting and successful trial aiming to find a better treatment for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (TB).

On World TB Day 2021, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has announced its phase II/III TB-PRACTECAL trial stopped enrolling patients early after its independent data safety and monitoring board indicated that the regimen being studied is superior to current care, and more patient data was unlikely to change the trial’s outcome.

MSF is now preparing to share its data with the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of the submission of full results for peer review in the coming months.

Dr du Cros, a member of the trial’s Steering Committee, believes the findings have the potential to change clinical practice.

“In the work our team does in Papua New Guinea we see the need for simplified, shorter, better tolerated treatment for Drug-resistant TB every day,” Dr du Cros said.

“This randomised controlled trial shows that a six-month all oral treatment is superior to current care.

“This is very exciting news and has the potential to greatly improve the way we treat people with drug resistant TB and how we deliver drug resistant TB programs.”

The TB-PRACTECAL trial, conducted in South Africa, Uzbekistan and Belarus, is the first multi-country, randomised, controlled clinical trial to report on the safety and efficacy of a six-month, all oral regimen for drug resistant TB.

An estimated 465,000 people developed rifampicin-resistant TB in 2019 and 182,000 died.

Treatment is long, cures only three out of every five patients, and, despite changes in WHO guidance, often includes painful injections and drugs which cause toxic side effects including deafness.

Find out more about this important research from MSF.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Doctor Philipp du Cros

Infectious Diseases Specialist, TB Elimination and Implementation Science


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