The many components of drug efficacy need to be identified and measured, and treatments must be tailored to take account of parasite susceptibility and efficacy in patient sub-populations such as children, malnourished patients, and patients co-infected with HIV. However, clinical trials enrol relatively small numbers of patients over dispersed geographic regions, making treatment optimisation and registration a challenge.
Like many diseases of poverty, treatment decisions for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients are informed by limited evidence due to the scarcity of resources. Giving patients the best treatment depends on bringing together all the global data so that researchers can perform more comprehensive analysis to better understand how to fight this infection.
Data exists on more than 35,000 patients enrolled in over 150 trials in the past 20 years, as highlighted in a systematic literature review. This scattered, but rich resource could inform knowledge gaps in treatment optimisation and influence future research. However, usually only summary statistics are available from publications, with results often not reported in a standardised and statistically comparable manner across different trials. This makes comparative analysis of efficacy between drugs, regimens and regions almost impossible.
The VL research theme is facilitating the pooling of data from available trials to address these knowledge gaps. By amalgamating and standardising individual patient data (IPD), we can maximise the utility of existing resources to address priority questions in VL treatment, create a framework to assemble future studies, guide optimal data collection and make research progress more efficient.
The main objectives of this platform are to:
The VL Surveyor provides summary data from clinical trials across the world. View the WHO fact sheet for more information on leishmaniasis.
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