Dornase alfa (Pulmozyme) treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) has been shown to improve pulmonary function and reduce exacerbations of infection in a number of placebo-controlled double-blind studies. Data in the Epidemiologic Registry of Cystic Fibrosis (ERCF) in November 1998 were used to assess the long-term effectiveness in routine clinical practice of dornase alfa in terms of pulmonary function and frequency of acute pulmonary exacerbations in CF. At that time, the ERCF contained data on 13,684 CF patients, with a mean observation period of 2.3 years. To be included in the analysis, patients had to have 2 years of data in the Registry in appropriate detail. Overall, untreated patients showed a decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec over a 2-year period of -2.3% predicted, but treated patients were stable, showing a change of 0.3% predicted, i.e., a treatment benefit of 2.5%. Compared to untreated patients, there were 25 fewer exacerbations per 100 treated patients per year. The analysis suggested that younger patients were likely to benefit more from treatment. The findings of randomized clinical trials were supported by the data collected in routine clinical practice.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.