Long-term outcome of everolimus treatment in transplant patients
Maurizio Salvadori, Elisabetta Bertoni
Renal Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy
Abstract: The authors review the use of everolimus in long-term studies both in renal and heart transplantation. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic differences between everolimus and its parent drug, sirolimus are discussed. The improved pharmacokinetic, in particular the improved bioavailability, the reduced half-time and the reduced binding to plasma protein makes everolimus the first choice among the proliferation signal inhibitors. Everolimus is given in almost all studies in association with cyclosporine, but fixed doses of this drug can cause nephrotoxicity. The first studies used everolimus and CsA in fixed doses, but later studies with reduced CsA doses revealed which revealed improved outcomes. Finally, therapeutic drug monitoring became the better choice for both drugs. Recently very high everolimus exposure allowed the use of very low CsA exposure with improvement of the worse side effects linked to the CsA standard dose. The Zeus study revealed a complete and safe CsA withdrawal, thanks to everolimus and mycophenolic acid. In heart transplantation, everolimus resulted in improved outcomes with respect to antiproliferative drugs such as mycophenolic acid and azathioprine. Along with antirejection properties, everolimus provided evidence for antiproliferative effects on several cells. This resulted in fewer viral infections (mainly CMV), anti-atherosclerotic properties (mainly important in heart transplantation, and antineoplastic effect. The latter activity resulted in lower cancer incidence in transplant patients treated by everolimus. An important piece of evidence for this activity is documented by the use of everolimus in the treatment of some cancers, including renal cancer, neuroendocrine cancers and hepatocellular cancers, also outside the field of transplantation.
Keywords: everolimus, renal transplantation, heart transplantation, CNI minimization, CNI withdrawal
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