Dr. Chen-Yuan Chiang joins global third-phase clinical trial for MDR-TB

Source: College of Medicine

Published on 2019-12-11

College of Medicine Associate Professor Chen-Yuan Chiang’s team has spent nearly ten years completing a third-phase clinical trial for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis proving that the efficacy of 9-11 month short-course treatment is no worse than the 18-24 month long-course treatment advocated by the World Health Organization. 


Results appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in March 2019.

Associate Professor Chen-Yuan Chiang

Associate Professor Chen-Yuan Chiang has long been internationally known for his work on TB prevention and treatment. He is a consultant for WHO’s multidrug-resistant TB committee.

The current WHO treatment for tuberculosis can last 18-24 months with patients taking medication 1-2 times a day without any break in the treatment. Since four to seven drugs need to be taken and each drug has side effects, patients may be reluctant to complete their treatment, leading to a cure rate of around 50%. In comparison, the short-course treatment utilized by Prof. Chiang’s group is a 9-11 month course of similar drugs in different combinations. The short course’s lower cost and reduced side effects also improve adherence.

The research utilized Clofazimine, which was previously used to treat leprosy, in combination with other drugs to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. After ten years of clinical trials involving several groups in different countries, it has been shown that the treatment course can be reduced to 9-11 months, as the 78% efficacy is no worse than results from the traditional 18-24 month long-course treatment, providing significant and obvious benefits.

 Did you know?

There is not much emphasis on TB prevention and treatment in Taiwan, so patients may feel little social pressure to complete their treatment. In May 2007 Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control set up five medical teams around Taiwan to treat over 400 multidrug-resistant TB patients every year, and after close to a decade of hard work, the number has dropped to around 200, with the failure rate dropping to 3%, showing a high degree of patient willingness to receive treatment.

Dr. Chiang believes the short-course treatment’s similar efficacy, lower costs and milder side effects will provide patients with a new choice, and that it will gradually become the mainstay in treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Associate Professor Chen-Yuan Chiang’s New England Journal of Medicine article.

Taipei Medical University COVID-19 Special Report: 2020 Wrap-Up

Taipei Medical University (TMU) are blessed to be able to carry on with our core activities in learning and research. And, besides being one of Taiwan’s best medical education providers, TMU is interwoven with the country’s many successes in fighting the pandemic.

Taipei Medical University Feng-Hsing Sociomedical and Medical Knowledge Promotion Service Group’s decade of service in Penghu, an island in Taiwan

The year 2020 will mark TMU Feng-Hsing Sociomedical and Medical Knowledge Promotion Service Group's (臺北醫學大楓杏醫療志工學生服務隊) (abbrev. TMU Feng-Hsing) 10th year of volunteer clinic service in Penghu.

Taipei Medical University students engaging in service learning in a mountain indigenous township despite epidemic and storm

The College of Nutrition, the Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine and the School of Pharmacy work together to lead students in service learning in Jianshi Township (尖石鄉), a mountain indigenous township in Hsinchu County in northern Taiwan, despite epidemic and storm.

Taipei Medical University establishing “OHDSI Taiwan Chapter,” joining global transnational research published in JAMIA

In collaboration with the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI), Taipei Medical University (TMU) established “OHDSI Taiwan Chapter” and participated in the "Uncovering exposures responsible for birth season– disease effects," a global research conducted by experts and scholars from Taiwan, the US, South Korea and other countries.

Taipei Medical University Celebrates 60 Years of Excellence

Taipei Medical University (TMU) celebrated the 60th anniversary of founding on October 30, 2020, with more than 450 dignitaries, professors, students and alumni joining the diamond jubilee.

2020 Taipei Medical University Oral Medical Service Teams Visited Rural Areas

In 2020, TMU College of Oral Medicine sent three medical service teams, comprised of faculty members and students, to visit remote areas in Taiwan.