Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23388004
N. Engl. J. Med. 2013 Feb;368(6):524-32
BACKGROUND: There is a need for a simple and efficacious treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis with an acceptable side-effect profile.
METHODS: We conducted a randomized, vehicle-controlled phase 3 trial of topical treatments containing 15% paromomycin, with and without 0.5% gentamicin, for cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major in Tunisia. We randomly assigned 375 patients with one to five ulcerative lesions from cutaneous leishmaniasis to receive a cream containing 15% paromomycin-0.5% gentamicin (called WR 279,396), 15% paromomycin alone, or vehicle control (with the same base as the other two creams but containing neither paromomycin nor gentamicin). Each lesion was treated once daily for 20 days. The primary end point was the cure of the index lesion. Cure was defined as at least 50% reduction in the size of the index lesion by 42 days, complete reepithelialization by 98 days, and absence of relapse by the end of the trial (168 days). Any withdrawal from the trial was considered a treatment failure.
RESULTS: The rate of cure of the index lesion was 81% (95% confidence interval [CI], 73 to 87) for paromomycin-gentamicin, 82% (95% CI, 74 to 87) for paromomycin alone, and 58% (95% CI, 50 to 67) for vehicle control (P<0.001 for each treatment group vs. the vehicle-control group). Cure of the index lesion was accompanied by cure of all other lesions except in five patients, one in each of the paromomycin groups and three in the vehicle-control group. Mild-to-moderate application-site reactions were more frequent in the paromomycin groups than in the vehicle-control group.
CONCLUSIONS: This trial provides evidence of the efficacy of paromomycin-gentamicin and paromomycin alone for ulcerative L. major disease. (Funded by the Department of the Army; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00606580.).