Urate-lowering therapy following a treat-to-target continuation strategy compared to a treat-to-avoid-symptoms discontinuation strategy in gout patients in remission (GO TEST Finale): study protocol of a multicentre pragmatic randomized superiority trial.Trials. 2023 Apr 19; 24(1):282.T
Long-term gout treatment is based on reducing serum urate levels using urate-lowering therapy (ULT). Most guidelines recommend using a lifelong continuation treat-to-target (T2T) strategy, in which ULT is dosed or combined until a serum urate target has been reached and maintained. However, a frequently used alternative strategy in clinical practice is a treat-to-avoid-symptoms (T2S) ULT discontinuation strategy, with the possibility of restarting the medication. This latter strategy aims at an acceptable symptom state, regardless of serum urate levels. High-quality evidence to support either strategy for patients in prolonged remission while using ULT is lacking.
We developed an investigator-driven pragmatic, open-label, multicentre, randomized, superiority treatment strategy trial (GO TEST Finale). At least 278 gout patients using ULT who are in remission (>12 months, preliminary gout remission criteria) will be randomized 1:1 to a continued T2T strategy (treatment target serum urate < 0.36 mmol/l) or switched to a T2S discontinuation strategy in which ULT is tapered to stop and restarted in case of (persistent or recurrent) flaring. The primary outcome is the between-group difference in the proportion of patients not in remission during the last 6 months of 24 months follow-up and will be analyzed using a two proportion z test. Secondary outcomes are group differences in gout flare incidence, reintroduction or adaptation of ULT, use of anti-inflammatory drugs, serum urate changes, occurrence of adverse events (with a special interest in cardiovascular and renal events), and cost-effectiveness.
This study will be the first clinical trial comparing two ULT treatment strategies in patients with gout in remission. It will contribute to more specific and unambiguous guideline recommendations and improved cost-effectiveness of long-term gout treatment. It also paves the way (exploratory) to individualized long-term ULT treatment. In this article, we elaborate on some of our trial design choices and their clinical and methodological consequences.
International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (ICTRP) NL9245. Registered on 2 February 2021 (METC Oost-Nederland NL74350.091.20); EudraCT EUCTR2020-005730-15-NL. Registered on 11 January 2021.