Background: Solid organ transplantation (SOT) is a well-established and life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage organ failure. Organ rejection and infections are among the main complications to SOT and largely determines the clinical outcome. The correct level of immunosuppression is of major importance to prevent these complications. However, it is a consistent observation that in recipients on the same immunosuppressive regimens the clinical outcome varies, and no reliable marker exists to monitor immune function.
Methods: In a prospective, observational study, we plan to enroll 630 adult patients with a planned organ transplantation at Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to and on different time points up to two years after transplantation we will perform a complete immunological profile on the recipients. This profile will consist of classical descriptive immune phenotyping (flow cytometry and circulating biomarkers) and the functional assay TruCulture®. In TruCulture® whole blood is incubated ex vivo with stimulants imitating bacterial, viral and fungal infections, where after a panel of selected cytokines is quantified. Clinical data from electronic health records will be obtained from the PERSIMUNE (Centre of Excellence for Personalized Medicine of Infections Complications in Immune Deficiency at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen) data repository, a warehouse of data generated as part of routine care including vital signs, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology as well as medication, demographics, diagnoses, hospital contacts, surgical procedures and mortality.
Discussion: This will be the first large scale study to determine several aspects of immune function and perform a complete immunological profiling in SOT recipients. It is expected that knowledge generated will provide information to generate prediction models identifying patients at increased risk of infection and/or rejection. If the study is successful, we will subsequently use the generated prediction models to propose personalized immunosuppressive regimens to be tested in future randomized controlled trials.
Trial registration: This study has been approved by the Regional ethical committee (H-17024315), the Danish Data Protection Agency (RH-2016-47, RH-2015-04, I-Suite 03605) and the Danish National board of Health (3-3013-1060/1). The trial is retrospectively registered at clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT03847285 ) the 20th February 2019.
Keywords: Graft rejection; Immunomodulation; Immunosuppression; Infection; Organ transplantation; Precision medicine.