Depleting antibody induction in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation: a prospective single-center comparison of alemtuzumab versus rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin

Robert J Stratta, Jeffrey Rogers, Giuseppe Orlando, Umar Farooq, Yousef Al-Shraideh, William Doares, Scott Kaczmorski, Alan C Farney
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 2014, 14 (12): 1723-30

BACKGROUND: The study purpose was to analyze midterm outcomes in a prospective trial of alemtuzumab (Alem) versus rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (rATG) induction in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (SPKT).

METHODS: From February 2005 to October 2008, 46 SPKTs (45 portal-enteric drainage) were prospectively randomized as part of a larger kidney transplant study to receive either single-dose Alem (30 mg intraoperatively) or multiple-dose rATG antibody induction (starting intraoperatively, minimum three doses administered) with tacrolimus/mycophenolate ± steroids.

RESULTS: Of 222 kidney transplant patients enrolled in the study, 46 received SPKTs; 28 (61%) received Alem and 18 (39%) rATG induction. Follow-up ranged from 67 to 111 months (mean 80 months). There were no significant differences between the two groups in 5 years actual patient (86% Alem vs 89% rATG), kidney (82% Alem vs 61% rATG, p = 0.17) or pancreas (68% Alem vs 56% rATG) graft survival rates. Five years death-censored kidney (92% Alem vs 69% rATG, p = 0.09) and pancreas (76% Alem vs 56% rATG, p = 0.198) graft survival rates were slightly higher in patients receiving Alem. Acute rejection (21% Alem vs 44% rATG, p = 0.12) and major infection (39% Alem vs 67% rATG, p = 0.13) rates were slightly lower in the Alem group; cytomegalovirus infections were significantly lower (0 Alem vs 17% rATG, p = 0.05). The incidence of late acute rejection was low in both groups. There were no differences in early pancreas thrombosis (3.6% Alem vs 11% rATG), postoperative bleeding (11% Alem vs 0 rATG), other surgical complications, readmissions or freedom from steroids between groups. In patients with functioning grafts, 5 years mean serum creatinine (1.4 Alem vs 1.6 mg/dl rATG), calculated abbreviated modification of diet in renal disease glomerular filtration rate (55 Alem vs 52 ml/min/1.73 m(2) rATG), hemoglobin A1c (both 5.4%) and C-peptide (2.6 Alem vs 2.3 ng/ml rATG) levels were similar.

CONCLUSIONS: Single-dose Alem and multiple-dose rATG induction provide similar midterm patient survival and graft functional outcomes with no major differences in morbidity or resource utilization.

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