BEAT CF pulmonary exacerbations core protocol for evaluating the management of pulmonary exacerbations in people with cystic fibrosis

Andre Schultz, Charlie McLeod, Scott Berry, Julie Marsh, Anne McKenzie, Mitch Messer, Jamie Wood, Ben Saville, Adam Jaffe, Sarath Ranganathan, Steve Stick, Peter Wark, Steve Webb, Tom Snelling

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare, inherited, life-limiting condition predominantly affecting the lungs, for which there is no cure. The disease is characterized by recurrent pulmonary exacerbations (PEx), which are thought to drive progressive lung damage. Management of these episodes is complex and generally involves multiple interventions targeting different aspects of disease. The emergence of innovative trials and use of Bayesian statistical methods has created renewed opportunities for studying heterogeneous populations in rare diseases. Here, we present the protocol for the BEAT CF PEx cohort, a prospective, multi-site, perpetual, platform enrolling adults and children with CF. The BEAT CF PEx cohort will be used to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of interventions for the treatment of PEx requiring intensive therapy (PERITs), with a primary focus on short-term improvements in lung function. This will be achieved through the conduct of cohort-nested studies, including adaptive clinical trials, within the BEAT CF PEx cohort. This protocol will outline key features of the BEAT CF PEx cohort, including the design, implementation, data collection and management, governance and analysis, and dissemination of results. Methods: This platform will be conducted across multiple sites, commencing with CF treatment centers in Australia. People of all ages with a clinical diagnosis of CF will be eligible to participate, except those who have previously received a lung transplant. Data including demographic and clinical information, treatment details, and outcomes (including safety, microbiology, and patient-reported outcome measures including quality of life scores) will be systematically collected and securely stored via a digital centralized trial management system (CTMS). The primary endpoint is the absolute change in the percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (ppFEV1) from the commencement of intensive therapy to 7 to 10 days afterwards. Discussion: The BEAT CF PEx cohort will report clinical, treatment, and outcome data for PEx among people with CF and is intended to serve as a core (master) protocol for future nested, interventional trials evaluating treatment(s) for these episodes. The protocols for nested sub-studies are beyond the scope of this document and will be reported separately. Trial registration: ANZCTR BEAT CF Platform – ACTRN12621000638831. Registration date: Sept. 26, 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Article number211
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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