Transplant immunosuppressive drugs in urology

Transl Androl Urol. 2019 Apr;8(2):109-117. doi: 10.21037/tau.2018.07.12.


Immunosuppressive drugs are used in renal transplantation to prevent and treat rejection and their use has traditionally been limited to urologists trained in transplant surgery. However, there are other urologic conditions for which these drugs have proven efficacy. Since transplant surgery has become a small niche subspecialty within urology, most urologists are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with their use. This review will focus on the use of Cyclosporine (CyA), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors in urology outside of solid organ transplant. This includes the treatment of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) with CyA as well as the role of CyA in eosinophilic cystitis (EC) and the treatment of retroperitoneal fibrosis (RF) with MMF. Also included is the utilization of mTOR inhibitors in both advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) associated angiomyolipoma (AML). Available clinical data on mTOR inhibition in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is also briefly presented. Specific attention is given to the indications for each agent, the available evidence surrounding their use, and the most common adverse events (AEs) and their subsequent management.

Keywords: Immunosuppression; cyclosporine (CyA); interstitial cystitis (IC); kidney cancer; mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor (mTOR inhibitor).

Publication types

  • Review