Comparison of sirolimus plus tacrolimus versus sirolimus plus cyclosporine in high-risk renal allograft recipients: results from an open-label, randomized trial

A Osama Gaber, Barry D Kahan, Charles Van Buren, Seth L Schulman, Joseph Scarola, John F Neylan et al.
Transplantation 2008 November 15, 86 (9): 1187-95

BACKGROUND: The efficacy and safety of sirolimus (SRL) plus tacrolimus (TAC) versus SRL plus cyclosporine (CsA) were compared in high-risk renal allograft recipients.

METHODS: Evaluable patients (448) were randomly assigned (1:1) before transplant to receive SRL+TAC or SRL+CsA with corticosteroids. Eligible patients were black and/or repeat transplant recipients, and/or those with high titer of panel-reactive antibodies.

RESULTS: Demographics were similar between groups. Both treatments demonstrated equivalent efficacy of the composite endpoint at 12 months with efficacy failure rates of 21.9% vs. 23.2% (SRL+TAC vs. SRL+CsA, respectively, 95% CI -10.0 to 7.1, P=0.737). Biopsy-confirmed acute rejection rate (13.8% vs. 17.4%) and graft survival rate (89.7% vs. 90.2%) were similar (SRL+TAC vs. SRL+CsA, respectively). In evaluable patients (received at least 1 dose of study drug), renal function (calculated Nankivell glomerular filtration rate) was not superior in SRL+TAC versus SRL+CsA (54.5 vs. 52.6 mL/min, P=0.466); however, in on-therapy patients, glomerular filtration rate was significantly higher in SRL+TAC at most time points. At 12 months, there were no significant differences in rates of death, discontinuation because of adverse events, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipemia, or proteinuria. Diarrhea and herpes simplex infections occurred significantly more often in SRL+TAC patients. Hypertension, cardiomegaly, increased creatinine, overdose (primarily calcineurin inhibitor toxicity), acne, urinary tract disorders, lymphocele, and ovarian cysts occurred significantly more often in SRL+CsA patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that SRL-based therapy was efficacious in high-risk renal allograft recipients in the first year after transplant, providing equivalent efficacy with CsA or TAC, similar graft survival, low biopsy-confirmed acute rejection rates, excellent renal function, and an acceptable safety profile.

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