A Phase III Study of Belatacept Versus Cyclosporine in Kidney Transplants from Extended Criteria Donors (BENEFIT-EXT Study)


* Corresponding author: Antoine Durrbach, antoine.durrbach@bct.aphp.fr


Recipients of extended criteria donor (ECD) kidneys are at increased risk for graft dysfunction/loss, and may benefit from immunosuppression that avoids calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) nephrotoxicity. Belatacept, a selective costimulation blocker, may preserve renal function and improve long-term outcomes versus CNIs. BENEFIT-EXT (Belatacept Evaluation of Nephroprotection and Efficacy as First-line Immunosuppression Trial—EXTended criteria donors) is a 3-year, Phase III study that assessed a more (MI) or less intensive (LI) regimen of belatacept versus cyclosporine in adult ECD kidney transplant recipients. The coprimary endpoints at 12 months were composite patient/graft survival and a composite renal impairment endpoint. Patient/graft survival with belatacept was similar to cyclosporine (86% MI, 89% LI, 85% cyclosporine) at 12 months. Fewer belatacept patients reached the composite renal impairment endpoint versus cyclosporine (71% MI, 77% LI, 85% cyclosporine; p = 0.002 MI vs. cyclosporine; p = 0.06 LI vs. cyclosporine). The mean measured glomerular filtration rate was 4–7 mL/min higher on belatacept versus cyclosporine (p = 0.008 MI vs. cyclosporine; p = 0.1039 LI vs. cyclosporine), and the overall cardiovascular/metabolic profile was better on belatacept versus cyclosporine. The incidence of acute rejection was similar across groups (18% MI; 18% LI; 14% cyclosporine). Overall rates of infection and malignancy were similar between groups; however, more cases of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) occurred in the CNS on belatacept. ECD kidney transplant recipients treated with belatacept-based immunosuppression achieved similar patient/graft survival, better renal function, had an increased incidence of PTLD, and exhibited improvement in the cardiovascular/metabolic risk profile versus cyclosporine-treated patients.