A randomized trial of thymoglobulin vs. alemtuzumab (with lower dose maintenance immunosuppression) vs. daclizumab in renal transplantation at 24 months of follow-up


Gaetano Ciancio, MD, Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, PO Box 012440 (R-440), Miami, FL 33101, USA.
Tel.: +305-355-5111; fax: +305-355-5134;
e-mail: gciancio@med.miami.edu


Abstract: Introduction:  A long-term prospective randomized trial evaluating alemtuzumab, a humanized anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, in a predominantly non-Caucasian population has yet to be reported.

Methods:  Ninety deceased donor (DD) first renal transplant recipients were randomized into three different antibody induction groups: group A, thymoglobulin (Thymo); group B, alemtuzumab; group C, daclizumab (Dac). In groups A and C, the target trough levels of tacrolimus were 8–10 ng/mL, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) 1 g administered twice daily, and maintenance methylprednisolone. In group B, target tacrolimus trough levels were 4–7 ng/mL, 500 mg MMF administered twice-daily, without methylprednisolone. African-Americans and Hispanics comprised more than 50% in each group.

Results:  A minimum follow-up of 27 months showed no overall group differences in patient or graft survival (p = 0.89 and 0.66), but a trend towards worse death-censored graft survival in group B (p = 0.05). Acute rejection rates were not significantly different: six (20%), seven (23%), and seven (23%) in groups A, B, and C, respectively. The incidence of chronic allograft nephropathy was higher in group B than in A and C (p = 0.008). The mean calculated creatinine clearance at 24 months was 81.1 ± 5.5, 64.4 ± 4.5, and 80.7 ± 5.7 in groups A, B, and C, respectively (p = 0.01 for B vs. average of A and C).

Conclusion:  In this randomized 27-month minimum follow-up trial of predominantly non-Caucasian DD renal transplant recipients with alemtuzumab induction, lower maintenance tacrolimus, MMF, and steroid avoidance appear less effective than either Thymo or Dac with higher maintenance immunosuppression.