Background: Fixed-dose mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) reduces the incidence of acute rejection after solid organ transplantation. The Fixed-Dose Concentration Controlled trial assessed the feasibility and potential benefit of therapeutic drug monitoring in patients receiving MMF after de novo renal transplant.
Methods: Patients were randomized to a concentration-controlled (n=452; target exposure 45 mg hr/L) or a fixed-dose (n=449) MMF-containing regimen. The primary endpoint was treatment failure (a composite of biopsy-proven acute rejection [BPAR], graft loss, death, or MMF discontinuation) by 12 months posttransplantation.
Results: Mycophenolic acid (MPA) exposures for both groups were similar at most time points and were below 30 mg hr/L in 37.3% of patients at day 3. There was no difference in the incidence of treatment failure (25.6% vs. 25.7%, P=0.81) or BPAR (14.9% vs. 15.5%, P>0.05) between the concentration-controlled and the fixed-dose groups, respectively. We did find a significant relationship between MPA-area under the concentration-time curve on day 3 and the incidence of BPAR in the first month (P=0.009) or in the first year posttransplantation (P=0.006). For later time points (day 10, month 1) there was no significant relationship between area under the concentration-time curve and BPAR (0.2572 and 0.5588, respectively).
Conclusions: There was no difference in the incidence of treatment failure between the concentration-controlled and the fixed-dose groups. The applied protocol of MMF dose adjustments based on target MPA exposure was not successful, partly because physicians seemed reluctant to implement substantial dose changes. Current initial MMF doses underexpose more than 35% of patients early after transplantation, increasing the risk for BPAR.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00166244.