Leading immunosuppressant CellCept significantly extends the lifespan of transplanted kidneys

The analysis showed that after three years treatment with CellCept + tacrolimus, kidney survival was 85.9% versus 80.3% with patients taking sirolimus + tacrolimus immunosuppressants. The outcome was even better for higher risk patients with a kidney survival rate of 74.5% vs 57.5%[i]. The new data were presented at the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT), Geneva, Switzerland. Previous data have shown that CellCept gives a survival benefit when compared to older immunosuppressant drugs and now these new data demonstrate the survival benefit of CellCept combinations over the newer drug regimens.

Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs[ii]; for every kidney available there are four people waiting to receive one[iii]. After transplantation, people need to take a combination of immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent the body rejecting the new organ. By preserving the transplanted organ with CellCept based combinations, doctors can help patients to keep their organs longer, thereby, reducing the burden on the already limited donor pool. One way to achieve this is by choosing combinations based on the low toxicity profile of CellCept, along with reduced doses of the more toxic immunosuppressant drugs to decrease the risk of losing the new kidney.

"We have learnt that the combination of cyclosporine/sirolimus is toxic to the kidney over time and as a result some doctors have switched to a sirolimus/tacrolimus combination, that was perceived to be less toxic," said Prof Herwig-Ulf Meier Kriesche, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl, USA. "Now we have the data to show that this combination is just as damaging. These data, along with this latest analysis of patients on CellCept combinations, should help us make an evidence-based choice on how best to reduce the risk of toxicity, which we know is associated with some long-term immunosuppressant regimens," he added.


Contact: Helen Swift

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