Induction therapy with alemtuzumab followed by lower maintenance immunosuppression (IS) has been associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in abdominal and heart transplantation (TX). In the current study, alemtuzumab, in combination with reduced levels of maintenance IS, was compared to thymoglobulin in combination with standard IS. Sixty consecutive patients who underwent lung transplantation (LUTX) at a single center were prospectively randomized in two groups: group A received alemtuzumab in conjunction with reduced doses of tacrolimus, steroids and mycophenolate mofetil. Group B received thymoglobulin in association with standard dose IS. Patient and graft survival, freedom from acute cellular rejection (ACR), lymphocytic bronchiolitis, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, kidney function, infectious complications and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder were analyzed. Alemtuzumab induction therapy resulted in complete the absence of ACR episodes ≥ A2 within the first year post-TX. The difference to thymoglobulin was significant (alemtuzumab 0 vs. ATG 0.33; p = 0.019). All other factors studied did not show any differences between the two groups. Alemtuzumab induction therapy after LUTX in combination with reduced maintenance IS significantly reduces higher-grade rejection rates. This novel therapeutic agent had no impact on survival, infections rates, kidney function and incidence of malignancies.
Keywords: Clinical research/practice; immunosuppressive regimens; induction; lung transplantation/pulmonology; lung transplantation: living donor; organ transplantation in general.
© Copyright 2014 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.