Ganciclovir (Valcyte/Cymevene) reduces risk of cancer in kidney transplant patients

18 May 2004, Basel, Switzerland - Data presented at the American Transplant Congress (ATC) annual meeting show that the gold standard CMV antiviral ganciclovir (Valcyte/Cymevene) has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer1 and organ rejection2 in kidney transplant patients.

Ganciclovir, the active antiviral agent in Roches Valcyte and Cymevene drugs, is used to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease, a potentially fatal infection that can occur after a transplant and lead to the loss of the transplanted organ and patient death.

The new data showed that for every month of treatment with ganciclovir, the risk of developing cancer was lowered by 41% when compared to patients on another antiviral, acyclovir*.1 Furthermore, the risk of early organ rejection was reduced by 75% compared to patients taking no antiviral agents.2 These data suggest ganciclovir offers benefits beyond the prevention of CMV by lowering the risk of early rejection and extending patient life by reducing the risk of malignancy.

Collectively, data presented show that a lower risk of cancer and reduced early rejection are dual benefits of ganciclovir prophylaxis, which may help improve patient and graft survival, said Mark Pescovitz, Professor of Microbiology/Immunology, and Professor, Vice Chair for Research and Director of the division of Transplant Surgery in the Department of Surgery, Indiana University, USA.

Valcyte delivers the same active drug ingredients as oral ganciclovir, with up to 10 times greater bioavailability and simple once-daily dosing, offering patients an effective, easy and convenient treatment option. Therefore, these data also support the role of Valcyte in reducing the risk of early rejection and malignancy, he continued.

Study data

An analysis of patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD), cancer of the blood, showed that the cumulative length of ganciclovir treatment is significantly associated

Contact: Lisa Marriott

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