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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2014 Jan;10(1):117-32. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.2014.853616.

Immunosuppression for pancreas transplantation with an emphasis on antibody induction strategies: review and perspective.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Section of Transplantation, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC27157, USA.


A review of recent literature was performed to identify trends and evaluate outcomes with respect to immunosuppression in pancreas transplantation (PTX). In the past decade, the majority of PTXs were performed with depleting antibody induction, particularly in the setting of either calcineurin inhibitor minimization, corticosteroid withdrawal or both. Maintenance immunosuppression consisted of predominantly tacrolimus (TAC)/mycophenolatemofetil, TAC/mycophenolic acid or TAC/sirolimus with or without corticosteroids. Depending on PTX category, donor and recipient risk factors, case mix and immunosuppressive regimen, the 1-year incidence of acute rejection has decreased to 5-20%. Current 1-year rates of immunological pancreas graft loss range between 1.8 and 6%. Depleting antibody induction and either TAC/mycophenolatemofetil or TAC/sirolimus maintenance therapy with early steroid withdrawal have become the mainstay of immunosuppression in PTX. However, the development of non-nephrotoxic, nondiabetogenic, and nongastrointestinal toxic regimens is highly desirable to improve quality of life in all solid organ transplant recipients.

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