Objective: Mycophenolate mofetil (MM) is a new immunosuppressive agent that reversibly inhibits guanine nucleotide synthesis and DNA replication. Its activity is highly selective for T and B lymphocytes. Two open-label multicenter trials of MM in renal transplantation have been performed. This report summarizes the results from one center involved in these two trials.
Methods and results: The initial trial of MM was an open-label dose-ranging trial in primary cadaveric renal transplantation. Mycophenolate mofetil was included in the maintenance immunosuppression regimen from the day after transplantation. Of the 21 patients enrolled in this trial, one (5%) was withdrawn for side effects. There was one graft loss due to recurrent renal disease and two patients were withdrawn for difficulty with follow-up. Mean follow-up is 26 months, and patient and graft survival at 2 years are 100 and 95% respectively. The second trial was designed to study the efficacy of mycophenolate in reversing refractory renal allograft rejection. Patients enrolled in the trial had biopsy-proven acute rejection and had previously received at least one course of high-dose corticosteroids and/or OKT3. Of the 26 patients enrolled in this trial, one (4%) was withdrawn for side effects. There were two deaths. Mean follow-up is 20 months, and patient and graft survival at 12 months was 91 and 54%. The incidence of infections in the two groups was 38% and there were no deaths in either group attributable to infection.
Conclusions: The results of these two studies indicate that mycophenolate mofetil could be administered safely to renal allograft recipients for periods up to 2 years. It appears to be effective in reversing acute rejection in a high percentage of patients refractory to other forms of therapy.