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The evolving role of alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) in renal transplantation

Authors Pham PT, Lipshutz GS, Pham PT, Kawahji J, Singer JS, Pham PT

Published 23 December 2008 Volume 2009:3 Pages 41—49

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S4179

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Peer reviewer comments 3


Phuong-Thu T Pham1, Gerald S Lipshutz2, Phuong-Truc T Pham3, Joseph Kawahji1, Jennifer S Singer4, Phuong-Chi T Pham5

1Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, University of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; 2Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, Department of Surgery and Urology, University of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; 3Department of Science, Penn State University, Worthington-Scranton, Dunmore, Pennsylvania; 4Renal Transplantation and Pediatric Urology, Department of Urology, University of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; 5Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and Olive-View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, California, USA

Abstract: The introduction of new immunosuppressive agents into clinical transplantation in the 1990s has resulted in excellent short-term graft survival. Nonetheless, extended long-term graft outcomes have not been achieved due in part to the nephrotoxic effects of calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) and the adverse effects of steroid on cardiovascular disease risk factors. Induction therapy with lymphocyte depleting antibodies has originally been introduced into renal transplantation to provide intense immunosuppression in the early post-transplant period to prevent allograft rejection. Over the past half decade, induction therapy with both non-lymphocyte depleting (basiliximab and daclizumab) and lymphocyte-depleting antibodies (antithymocyte antibodies, OKT3, alemtuzumab) has increasingly been utilized in steroid or CNI sparing protocols in the early postoperative period. Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeted against CD52 on the surface of circulatory mononuclear cells. The ability of alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) to provide rapid and profound depletion of lymphocytes from the peripheral blood has sparked interest in the use of this agent as induction therapy in steroid and/or CNI minimization or avoidance protocols. This article provides an overview of the literarure on the evolving role of alemtuzumab in renal transplantation.

Keywords: alemtuzumab, Campath-1H, induction, renal transplantation, calcineurin inhibitor minimization, steroid avoidance

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