Alemtuzumab (CAMPATH 1H) induction therapy in cadaveric kidney transplantation--efficacy and safety at five years.
Watson CJ., Bradley JA., Friend PJ., Firth J., Taylor CJ., Bradley JR., Smith KG., Thiru S., Jamieson NV., Hale G., Waldmann H., Calne R.
Alemtuzumab is a powerful lymphocyte depleting antibody currently being evaluated in solid organ transplantation. This paper describes 5-year results of a single center study of alemtuzumab as induction in renal transplantation. Thirty-three renal transplant recipients received 20 mg alemtuzumab on day 0 and 1, followed by half-dose cyclosporin monotherapy (trough concentration 75-125 ng/mL) from day 3. They were compared in a retrospective contemporaneous-controlled manner with 66 kidney transplant recipients transplanted in the same period and center who received conventional immunosuppression with cyclosporin, azathioprine and prednisolone. In the alemtuzumab group 12% of recipients died compared to 17% in the control group (p = 0.48); likewise graft loss was similar in both groups (21% vs. 26%, respectively, p = 0.58). Incidence of acute rejection was also comparable at 5 years (31.5% vs. 33.6%), although the pattern of rejection was different with 14% patients in the alemtuzumab group experiencing rejection over 1 year post-transplant compared to none in the control group. There was no significant difference between groups in terms of infection or serious adverse events. While acknowledging the limitations of a relatively small single-center study, results suggest that alemtuzumab induction allowed satisfactory long-term patient and graft survival equivalent to that seen with standard triple immunosuppression, while avoiding steroid therapy.