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Kidney Int. 2012 Nov;82(10):1054-60. doi: 10.1038/ki.2012.194. Epub 2012 May 23.

Are calcineurin inhibitors-free regimens ready for prime time?

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1
University of California, San Francisco, Kidney Transplant Service, San Francisco, California 94143-0780, USA. Flavio.Vincenti@ucsfmedctr.org

Abstract

The goal of research in transplant therapeutics is to achieve safe and effective immunosuppression strategies that allow durable engraftment free of toxicities. The calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) regimens, because of their inherent toxicities (including nephrotoxicity), have been unable to meet these promises. Over the past decade acute cellular rejection decreased dramatically with a concomitant robust increase in 1-year graft survival; however, long-term graft outcome showed only modest improvement. This is due in part to the toxicities of the immunosuppressive drugs. The quest for a toxicity-free-CNI-free regimen has been both intense and frustrating. A turning point in CNIs-free therapy may have occurred with the recent approval of belatacept, which represents a new paradigm in immunosuppression: biological therapy for chronic immunosuppression devoid of the usual toxicities associated with the CNIs. Belatacept, a fusion receptor protein, blocks costimulation signals necessary for the activation of T cells. Although costimulation blockade has not been shown to induce tolerance, it can provide safe and effective immunosuppression without renal or cardiovascular toxicities. The approval of belatacept in both the United States and Europe for use in renal transplantation will finally push CNI-free regimens into prime time. Novel biologics such as ASKP1240 (a human anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody) and one small molecule, tofacitinib, may advance further the use of CNI-free regimens in organ transplantation.

PMID:
22622502
DOI:
10.1038/ki.2012.194
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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