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TRANSFORM: a novel study design to evaluate the effect of everolimus on long-term outcomes after kidney transplantation

Authors Pascual J, Srinivas T, Chadban S, Citterio F, Oppenheimer F, Tedesco H, Henry M, Legendre C, Watarai Y, Sommerer C, Lee P, Hexham JM, Dong G, Bernhardt P, Vincenti F

Received 25 February 2014

Accepted for publication 15 April 2014

Published 10 June 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 45—54


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Julio Pascual,1 Titte R Srinivas,2 Steven Chadban,3 Franco Citterio,4 Federico Oppenheimer,5 Helio Tedesco,6 Mitchell L Henry,7 Christophe Legendre,8 Yoshihiko Watarai,9 Claudia Sommerer,10 Po-Chang Lee,11 J Mark Hexham,12 Gaohong Dong,12 Peter Bernhardt,13 Flavio Vincenti14

1Nephrology Department, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain; 2Division of Nephrology, Medical University of South Carolina, Mt Pleasant, SC, USA; 3Department of Transplantation, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW, Australia; 4Centro Trapianti d'Organo Istituto di Clinica Chirurgica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico Universitario A Gemelli, Rome, Italy; 5Renal Transplant Unit, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 6Nephrology Division, Hospital do Rim, UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil; 7The Comprehensive Transplant Center, The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA; 8Service de Transplantation Adultes, Université Paris Descartes and Hôpital Necker, Paris, France; 9Department of Transplant Surgery, Nagoya Daini Red Cross Hospital, Nagoya City, Aich, Japan; 10Medizinische Klinik, Sektion Nephrologie, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 11Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan; 12Biometrics and Statistical Science, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 13Research and Development, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland; 14Kidney Transplant Service, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Abstract: Two well defined, modifiable risk factors for kidney allograft failure are acute rejection and poor graft function at one year post-transplant. Regulatory bodies and expert panels in the USA and Europe have recognized that both acute rejection and one-year graft function should be assessed when evaluating immunosuppressive regimens. TRANSFORM ( NCT01950819) is one of the first trials to adopt this approach and the first that applies a novel combined clinically meaningful endpoint to take the first step towards changing the paradigm for immunosuppression in kidney transplant patients. Everolimus with reduced-exposure calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) therapy is a strategy designed to reduce the risk of chronic nephrotoxicity and other dose-dependent complications associated with CNI therapy. In TRANSFORM, de novo kidney transplant patients are randomized to everolimus with reduced-exposure CNI, or mycophenolic acid with standard-exposure CNI, both with induction therapy and maintenance steroids. The primary endpoint is a composite of treated biopsy-proven acute rejection or estimated glomerular filtration rate ,50 mL/min/1.73 m2 at month 12 post-transplant, which is expected to be sensitive both to the effects of acute and chronic allograft rejection and nephrotoxic side effects of immunosuppressive therapies. The construct of this endpoint allows the integration of a continuous outcome (graft function) with a logistic outcome (rejection). The trial uses a randomized, multicenter, open-label, two-arm design. After completion of a 2-year core study, patients enter a further 3-year prospective observational study. By capturing follow-up to 5 years, TRANSFORM will provide substantial data on the incidence of graft loss, graft dysfunction, cancer, cardiovascular events, and other patient-relevant outcomes. TRANSFORM will determine whether de novo CNI reduction with an everolimus-based regimen achieves short-term outcomes compared with standard CNI. As the largest clinical trial undertaken to date in kidney transplantation, recruiting more than 2,000 patients, and with extended follow-up to 5 years, TRANSFORM will provide critical data required to help maximize long-term outcomes.

Keywords: mTOR inhibitor, calcineurin inhibitor, reduced exposure

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