Alemtuzumab induction in deceased donor kidney transplantation

Edmund Huang, Yong W Cho, Rick Hayashi, Suphamai Bunnapradist
Transplantation 2007 October 15, 84 (7): 821-8

BACKGROUND: The use of alemtuzumab for induction therapy in kidney transplantation has been increasing. Herein is a report of graft outcomes associated with alemtuzumab induction from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing database.

METHODS: A total of 14,362 deceased donor kidney transplants from 2003 to 2004 received no induction (n=4,364), antithymocyte globulin (ATG; n=4,930), interleukin-2 receptor antagonists (IL-2RA; n=4,378), or alemtuzumab (n=690). Acute rejection within the initial hospitalization, 6 months, and 1 year; graft survival; and rejection-free survival were examined. Graft and rejection-free survival of alemtuzumab recipients maintained with tacrolimus (FK) or cyclosporine (CSA), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and steroids versus no calcineurin inhibitors (CNI), MMF, and steroids were compared.

RESULTS: Alemtuzumab recipients had less acute rejection during the initial hospitalization (2.3%) than no induction, ATG, and IL-2RA (7.6%, 3.4%, and 4.8%, respectively; P<0.001). There was increased acute rejection at 6 months and 1 year with alemtuzumab (14.5% and 19.2%) compared to no induction (12.7% and 14.8%, P<0.001), ATG (8.2% and 10.2%, P<0.001), and IL-2RA (11.1% and 13.0%, P<0.001) with no difference in adjusted relative risk for graft loss. Alemtuzumab recipients receiving FK or CSA, MMF, and steroids had increased graft (FK/MMF/steroids, P<0.001, CSA/MMF/steroids, P=0.007) and rejection-free survival (FK/MMF/steroids, P<0.001, CSA/MMF/steroids, P=0.006) over 24 months compared to no CNI, MMF, and steroids.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite reduced early rejection, acute rejection rates at 6 months and 1 year with alemtuzumab induction exceeded other forms of induction therapy. Maintenance with CNI-based immunosuppression may improve graft and rejection-free survival compared to CNI-free regimens among alemtuzumab recipients.

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