A recent NEJM May 2011 article has one article that compares use of Alemtuzumab and early steroid removal to Basiliximab and Thymo. Its a nicely done randomized controlled trial that is multi centered.
On face value:- appears that rate of biopsy confirmed acute rejection was lower in the alemtuzumab group in the low risk patients when compared to basiliximab and similar to thymo when compared in high risk groups.
Few points from the trial:
1. All were steroid sparing making things not standard around all programs
2. The infection events were statistically more higher in the Alemtuzumab group especially in the low risk population
3. WBC count was also <3000 in the treatment arm
4. Cancer, renal injury other complications were similar
5. Rate of late rejection (after 12 months) was higher in both low and high risk groups compared to standard treatment
6. If steroids were withdrawn, and infections were more in the alemtuzumab group, wonder what the rate of infection would have been with steroids!
Till further studies, looking ahead. Awaiting to see what the transplant community thinks
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