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ELEVATE: an innovative study design to assess the efficacy, safety, and evolution of cardiovascular parameters in de novo kidney transplant recipients after early conversion from a calcineurin inhibitor to everolimus

Authors van der Giet M, Cruzado J, de Fijter J, Holdaas H, Wang Z, Speziale A, Junge G

Received 21 December 2013

Accepted for publication 22 January 2014

Published 24 March 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 17—27

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJCT.S59549

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Markus van der Giet,1 Josep M Cruzado,2 Johan W de Fijter,3 Hallvard Holdaas,4 Zailong Wang,5 Antonio Speziale,6 Guido Junge6

1Department of Nephrology, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charite'-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany; 2Department of Nephrology, University Hospital of Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain; 3Department of Nephrology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; 4Section of Nephrology, Department of Transplant Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway; 5Biometrics and Statistical Science, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 6Research and Development, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland

Abstract: Progressive decline in allograft function and cardiovascular mortality after kidney transplantation remain major clinical challenges that can potentially be addressed by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, everolimus and sirolimus. mTOR inhibitors maintain immunosuppressive efficacy after minimization of calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) therapy and can achieve significant long-term improvements in renal function. Recently, data have accumulated that suggest mTOR inhibitors may offer cardioprotective effects. In animal models, inhibition of mTOR leads to regression of cardiac hypertrophy, and the limited data consistently point to a remodeling benefit following heart transplantation. Experimentally, mTOR inhibitors restrict atherogenesis, confirmed clinically by intravascular ultrasound data demonstrating lower rates of transplant vasculopathy in heart transplant recipients on everolimus. Lastly, mTOR inhibitors appear to ameliorate arterial stiffness, a known risk factor for post-transplant cardiovascular events, but data remain sparse. The ELEVATE study will examine the renal effect of early conversion from CNI therapy to everolimus after kidney transplantation. Key secondary endpoints include the change in left ventricular mass index, the first time this endpoint has been included in a prospective study of an mTOR inhibitor. The occurrence of cardiovascular events will be rigorously documented and pulse wave velocity is being measured in a subpopulation of patients. Results from this innovative trial are awaited with interest.

Keywords: cardiovascular, calcineurin inhibitors, ELEVATE, everolimus, kidney transplantation, mammalian target of rapamycin

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