Alemtuzumab (CAMPATH 1H) induction therapy in cadaveric kidney transplantation--efficacy and safety at five years

Am J Transplant. 2005 Jun;5(6):1347-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.00822.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Cyclosporine
  • Prednisolone
  • Azathioprine