Feasibility study to inform the design of a randomised controlled trial to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in individuals with cystic fibrosis.
ABSTRACT: There are controversies about the most effective treatment to eradicate first growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P aeruginosa) from the lower airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). UK guidelines recommend oral treatment, but some advocate intravenous (IV) treatment. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial comparing two treatment strategies to eradicate P aeruginosa in CF patients.Two surveys were conducted. Survey  included clinicians who were responsible for the treatment of individuals with CF, to assess their clinical practice, opinions and numbers of potentially eligible patients. Survey  included adults and young people aged 13 years or more with CF and parents of children with CF aged less than 13 years, identified at six UK CF centres, who fulfilled eligibility criteria for the proposed clinical trial, to assess their views about the interventions and their willingness to participate in the trial. Generally clinicians treat first or new growth of P aeruginosa with oral antibiotics, but 90% reported that they would consider IV treatment of first isolation of P aeruginosa. 74% of clinicians would consider recruiting their patients and 45% of consumers would consider entry for themselves or their children into a trial comparing oral with intravenous antibiotics. The median rate per annum for first or new growths of P aeruginosa in adults was 3% (range 1% to 9%) and in children was 10% (range 3% to 23%). If the trial was conducted across the UK, with a consent rate of 45%, then the number of eligible patients per annum who would be willing to take part in a study would be approximately 41 adults and 203 children.This work demonstrates the importance of feasibility studies in preparation for multicentre clinical trials. It confirmed the uncertainty amongst clinicians and patients about the clinical question, enabled assessment of the number of potentially eligible patients, the proportion of patients and clinicians prepared to participate and aspects of trial design which might encourage this. It showed that a clinical trial was feasible, but only if patients were recruited from across United Kingdom.
Project description:The prognostic value of Pseudomonas aeruginosa serology for antibiotic therapy in cystic fibrosis patients is not well understood.Using five antigens from two ELISAs, we assessed whether positive serology in CF patients participating in the multi-center Early Pseudomonas Infection in Children (EPIC) trial would predict treatment failure, time to pulmonary exacerbation and risk for recurrent P. aeruginosa isolation post eradication.Baseline positive P. aeruginosa serology was not significantly associated with failure of initial P. aeruginosa eradication measured at week 10 (adjusted for baseline culture) but seropositivity to the antigens alkaline protease and exotoxin A was significantly associated with increased risk for recurrent P. aeruginosa isolation during the 60 week post eradication follow-up period (p=0.003 and p=0.001 respectively). There was no association between baseline seropositivity and time to pulmonary exacerbation.P. aeruginosa serology may complement culture results in clinicians' efforts to successfully monitor recurrence of early P. aeruginosa in CF patients.
Project description:Transcriptomic profiles of synovial biopsies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who were recruited into the R4RA randomised clinical trial. Patients were randomised to treatment with rituximab or tocilizumab. All patients fulfilled the 2010 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for RA and were eligible for treatment with rituximab therapy according to UK NICE guidelines, i.e. failing or intolerant to csDMARD therapy and at least one biologic therapy (excluding trial IMPs) were recruited when fulfilling the trial inclusion/exclusion criteria. For the full study protocol and baseline patient characteristics see Humby et al (2021) The Lancet 397(10271): 305-17. PMID: 33485455.
Project description:In cystic fibrosis (CF), the paranasal sinuses are sites of first and persistent colonization by pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pathogens subsequently descend to the lower airways, with P. aeruginosa remaining the primary cause of premature death in patients with the inherited disease. Unlike conventional aerosols, vibrating aerosols applied with the PARI Sinus™ nebulizer deposit drugs into the paranasal sinuses. This trial assessed the effects of vibrating sinonasal inhalation of the antibiotic tobramycin in CF patients positive for P. aeruginosa in nasal lavage.To evaluate the effects of sinonasal inhalation of tobramycin on P. aeruginosa quantification in nasal lavage; and on patient quality of life, measured with the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-20), and otologic and renal safety and tolerability.Patients were randomized to inhalation of tobramycin (80 mg/2 mL) or placebo (2 mL isotonic saline) once daily (4 minutes/nostril) with the PARI Sinus™ nebulizer over 28 days, with all patients eligible for a subsequent course of open-label inhalation of tobramycin for 28 days. Nasal lavage was obtained before starting and 2 days after the end of each treatment period by rinsing each nostril with 10 mL of isotonic saline.Nine patients participated, six initially receiving tobramycin and three placebo. Sinonasal inhalation was well tolerated, with serum tobramycin <0.5 mg/L and stable creatinine. P. aeruginosa quantity decreased in four of six (67%) patients given tobramycin, compared with zero of three given placebo (non-significant). SNOT-20 scores were significantly lower in the tobramycin than in the placebo group (P=0.033).Sinonasal inhalation of vibrating antibiotic aerosols appears promising for reducing pathogen colonization of paranasal sinuses and for control of symptoms in patients with CF.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are essential for evidence-based medicine and increasingly rely on front-line clinicians to recruit eligible patients. Clinicians' difficulties with negotiating equipoise is assumed to undermine recruitment, although these issues have not yet been empirically investigated in the context of observable events. We aimed to investigate how clinicians conveyed equipoise during RCT recruitment appointments across six RCTs, with a view to (i) identifying practices that supported or hindered equipoise communication and (ii) exploring how clinicians' reported intentions compared with their actual practices. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Six pragmatic UK-based RCTs were purposefully selected to include several clinical specialties (e.g., oncology, surgery) and types of treatment comparison. The RCTs were all based in secondary-care hospitals (n = 16) around the UK. Clinicians recruiting to the RCTs were interviewed (n = 23) to understand their individual sense of equipoise about the RCT treatments and their intentions for communicating equipoise to patients. Appointments in which these clinicians presented the RCT to trial-eligible patients were audio-recorded (n = 105). The appointments were analysed using thematic and content analysis approaches to identify practices that supported or challenged equipoise communication. A sample of appointments was independently coded by three researchers to optimise reliability in reported findings. Clinicians and patients provided full written consent to be interviewed and have appointments audio-recorded. Interviews revealed that clinicians' sense of equipoise varied: although all were uncertain about which trial treatment was optimal, they expressed different levels of uncertainty, ranging from complete ambivalence to clear beliefs that one treatment was superior. Irrespective of their personal views, all clinicians intended to set their personal biases aside to convey trial treatments neutrally to patients (in accordance with existing evidence). However, equipoise was omitted or compromised in 48/105 (46%) of the recorded appointments. Three commonly recurring practices compromised equipoise communication across the RCTs, irrespective of clinical context. First, equipoise was overridden by clinicians offering treatment recommendations when patients appeared unsure how to proceed or when they asked for the clinician's expert advice. Second, clinicians contradicted equipoise by presenting imbalanced descriptions of trial treatments that conflicted with scientific information stated in the RCT protocols. Third, equipoise was undermined by clinicians disclosing their personal opinions or predictions about trial outcomes, based on their intuition and experience. These broad practices were particularly demonstrated by clinicians who had indicated in interviews that they held less balanced views about trial treatments. A limitation of the study was that clinicians volunteering to take part in the research might have had a particular interest in improving their communication skills. However, the frequency of occurrence of equipoise issues across the RCTs suggests that the findings are likely to be reflective of clinical recruiters' practices more widely. CONCLUSIONS:Communicating equipoise is a challenging process that is easily disrupted. Clinicians' personal views about trial treatments encroached on their ability to convey equipoise to patients. Clinicians should be encouraged to reflect on personal biases and be mindful of the common ways in which these can arise in their discussions with patients. Common pitfalls that recurred irrespective of RCT context indicate opportunities for specific training in communication skills that would be broadly applicable to a wide clinical audience.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting genetic condition in which daily therapies to maintain lung health are critical, yet treatment adherence is low. Previous interventions to increase adherence have been largely unsuccessful and this is likely due to a lack of focus on behavioural evidence and theory alongside input from people with CF. This intervention is based on a digital platform that collects and displays objective nebuliser adherence data. The purpose of this paper is to identify the specific components of an intervention to increase and maintain adherence to nebuliser treatments in adults with CF with a focus on reducing effort and treatment burden.<h4>Methods</h4>Intervention development was informed by the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) and person-based approach (PBA). A multidisciplinary team conducted qualitative research to inform a needs analysis, selected, and refined intervention components and methods of delivery, mapped adherence-related barriers and facilitators, associated intervention functions and behaviour change techniques, and utilised iterative feedback to develop and refine content and processes.<h4>Results</h4>Results indicated that people with CF need to understand their treatment, be able to monitor adherence, have treatment goals and feedback and confidence in their ability to adhere, have a treatment plan to develop habits for treatment, and be able to solve problems around treatment adherence. Behaviour change techniques were selected to address each of these needs and were incorporated into the digital intervention developed iteratively, alongside a manual and training for health professionals. Feedback from people with CF and clinicians helped to refine the intervention which could be tailored to individual patient needs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The intervention development process is underpinned by a strong theoretical framework and evidence base and was developed by a multidisciplinary team with a range of skills and expertise integrated with substantial input from patients and clinicians. This multifaceted development strategy has ensured that the intervention is usable and acceptable to people with CF and clinicians, providing the best chance of success in supporting people with CF with different needs to increase and maintain their adherence. The intervention is being tested in a randomised controlled trial across 19 UK sites.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chronic pulmonary infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in cystic fibrosis. If antibiotics are commenced promptly, infection can be eradicated. The aim of the trial was to compare the effectiveness and safety of intravenous ceftazidime and tobramycin versus oral ciprofloxacin in the eradication of P aeruginosa. METHODS:We did a multicentre, parallel group, open-label, randomised controlled trial in 72 cystic fibrosis centres (70 in the UK and two in Italy). Eligible participants were older than 28 days with an isolate of P aeruginosa (either the first ever isolate or a new isolate after at least 1 year free of infection). Participants were excluded if the P aeruginosa was resistant to, or they had a contraindication to, one or more of the trial antibiotics; if they were already receiving P aeruginosa suppressive therapy; if they had received any P aeruginosa eradication therapy within the previous 9 months; or if they were pregnant or breastfeeding. We used web-based randomisation to assign patients to 14 days intravenous ceftazidime and tobramycin or 12 weeks oral ciprofloxacin. Both were combined with 12 weeks inhaled colistimethate sodium. Randomisation lists were generated by a statistician, who had no involvement in the trial, using a computer-generated list. Randomisation was stratified by centre and because of the nature of the interventions, blinding was not possible. Our primary outcome was eradication of P aeruginosa at 3 months and remaining free of infection to 15 months. Primary analysis used intention to treat (powered for superiority). Safety analysis included patients who received at least one dose of study drug. TORPEDO-CF was registered on the ISRCTN register, ISRCTN02734162, and EudraCT, 2009-012575-10. FINDINGS:Between Oct 5, 2010, and Jan 27, 2017, 286 patients were randomly assigned to treatment: 137 to intravenous antibiotics and 149 to oral antibiotics. 55 (44%) of 125 participants in the intravenous group and 68 (52%) of 130 participants in the oral group achieved the primary outcome. Participants randomly assigned to the intravenous group were less likely to achieve the primary outcome, although the difference between groups was not statistically significant (relative risk 0·84, 95% CI 0·65-1·09; p=0·18). 11 serious adverse events occurred in ten (8%) of 126 participants in the intravenous antibiotics group and 17 serious adverse events in 12 (8%) of 146 participants in the oral antibiotics group. INTERPRETATION:Compared with oral therapy, intravenous antibiotics did not achieve sustained eradication of P aeruginosa in a greater proportion of patients with cystic fibrosis and was more expensive. Although there were fewer hospitalisations in the intravenous group than the oral group during follow-up, this confers no advantage over oral treatment because intravenous eradication frequently requires hospitalisation. These results do not support the use of intravenous antibiotics to eradicate P aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis. FUNDING:National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme.
Project description:Background: Inhaled medications for cystic fibrosis (CF) are effective but adherence is low. Clinicians find it difficult to estimate how much treatment people with CF (PWCF) take, whilst objective adherence measurement demonstrates that patients are poorly calibrated with a tendency to over-estimate actual adherence. The diagnostic approach to a PWCF with deteriorating clinical status and very low adherence is likely to be different to the approach to a deteriorating patient with optimal adherence. Access to objective adherence data in routine consultations could help to overcome diagnostic challenges for clinicians and people with CF. Attitudes of clinicians to the use and importance of routinely available adherence data is unknown. Methods: We conducted an online questionnaire survey with UK CF centres. We asked five questions relating to the current use and perception of objective measurements of adherence in routine care. Results: A total of eight CF centres completed the questionnaire. Few of the responding centres have adherence data readily available in routine clinics (13% of centres use medicines possession ratio; of centres with access to I-nebs® it was estimated that 17% of patients had I-neb data regularly available in clinics). All centres considered the availability of objectively measured adherence data to be important. Respondents identified that systems developed to provide adherence data in clinical practice must provide data to both clinicians and patients that is readily understood and easy to use. Conclusions: Centres perceived the availability of adherence data in routine care to be important but objective measures of adherence is rarely available at present.
Project description:Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to modern healthcare as it limits treatment options for bacterial infections, particularly impacting those with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis (CF). Viscous mucus accumulation in the lungs of individuals genetically predisposed to CF leads to recurrent bacterial infections, necessitating prolonged antimicrobial chemotherapy. <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i> infections are the predominant driver of CF lung disease, and airway isolates are frequently resistant to multiple antimicrobials. Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that specifically infect bacteria and are a promising alternative to antimicrobials for CF <i>P. aeruginosa</i> infections. However, the narrow host range of <i>P. aeruginosa</i>-targeting phages and the rapid evolution of phage resistance could limit the clinical efficacy of phage therapy. A promising approach to overcome these issues is the strategic development of mixtures of phages (cocktails). The aim is to combine phages with broad host ranges and target multiple distinct bacterial receptors to prevent the evolution of phage resistance. However, further research is required to identify and characterize phage resistance mechanisms in CF-derived <i>P. aeruginosa,</i> which differ from their non-CF counterparts. In this review, we consider the mechanisms of <i>P. aeruginosa</i> phage resistance and how these could be overcome by an effective future phage therapy formulation.
Project description:Despite aggressive antibiotic therapy, bronchopulmonary colonization by Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes persistent morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). Chronic P. aeruginosa infection in the CF lung is associated with structured, antibiotic-tolerant bacterial aggregates known as biofilms. We have demonstrated the effects of non-bactericidal, low-dose nitric oxide (NO), a signaling molecule that induces biofilm dispersal, as a novel adjunctive therapy for P. aeruginosa biofilm infection in CF in an ex vivo model and a proof-of-concept double-blind clinical trial. Submicromolar NO concentrations alone caused disruption of biofilms within ex vivo CF sputum and a statistically significant decrease in ex vivo biofilm tolerance to tobramycin and tobramycin combined with ceftazidime. In the 12-patient randomized clinical trial, 10 ppm NO inhalation caused significant reduction in P. aeruginosa biofilm aggregates compared with placebo across 7 days of treatment. Our results suggest a benefit of using low-dose NO as adjunctive therapy to enhance the efficacy of antibiotics used to treat acute P. aeruginosa exacerbations in CF. Strategies to induce the disruption of biofilms have the potential to overcome biofilm-associated antibiotic tolerance in CF and other biofilm-related diseases.
Project description:The value of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) in reducing severe clinical outcomes from influenza is debated. A clinical trial to generate better evidence is desirable. However, it is unknown whether UK clinicians would support a placebo-controlled trial. A survey was conducted to determine the attitude of clinicians towards a clinical trial and their current practice in managing adults admitted to hospital with suspected influenza.Senior clinicians (n =?50) across the UK actively involved in the care of patients hospitalised with severe respiratory infections and/or respiratory infection research were invited to participate in an on-line survey. Participants were asked their opinion on the evidence for benefit of NAIs in influenza, their current practice in relation to: a) testing for influenza; b) treating empirically with NAIs; and c) when influenza infection is virolologically confirmed, prescribing NAIs.Thirty-five (70%) of 50 clinicians completed the survey. Respondents were drawn mainly from infectious diseases, intensive care and respiratory medicine. Only 11 (31%) of 35 respondents agreed that NAIs are effective at reducing influenza mortality; 14 (40%) disagreed, 10 (28.6%) neither agreed nor disagreed. When managing adults admitted to non-ICU wards with a respiratory infection during an influenza season, 15 (51.7%) clinicians indicated they would usually perform a test for influenza in greater than 60% of patients but only 9 (31%) would treat empirically with NAIs in greater than 60% of patients. Few clinicians would either test or empirically treat patients presenting with other (non-respiratory infection related) diagnoses. If influenza infection is confirmed, 17 (64.5%) clinicians would prescribe NAIs in greater than 80% of patients with a respiratory infection treated on non-ICU wards Thirty-one (89%) clinicians agreed that a placebo-controlled clinical trial should be conducted and 29 (85%) would participate in such a trial.There is strong support from UK clinicians for a placebo-controlled trial of NAI treatment in adults hospitalised with suspected influenza. Current variation in medical opinion and clinical practice demonstrates collective equipoise, supporting ethical justification for a trial. Low use of NAIs in the UK suggests randomisation of treatment would not substantially divert patients towards placebo.