5 years ago

A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial Comparing Belatacept With Tacrolimus After De Novo Kidney Transplantation

Kraaijeveld, Rens, de Graav, Gretchen N., Clahsen-van Groningen, Marian C., Cadogan, Monique, Dieterich, Marjolein, Baan, Carla C., Hesselink, Dennis A., Weimar, Wilem, Verschoor, Wenda, van de Wetering, Jacqueline, von der Thusen, Jan H., van Rosmalen, Joost, Roelen, Dave L.
imageBackground: Belatacept, an inhibitor of the CD28-CD80/86 costimulatory pathway, allows for calcineurin-inhibitor free immunosuppressive therapy in kidney transplantation but is associated with a higher acute rejection risk than ciclosporin. Thus far, no biomarker for belatacept-resistant rejection has been validated. In this randomized-controlled trial, acute rejection rate was compared between belatacept- and tacrolimus-treated patients and immunological biomarkers for acute rejection were investigated. Methods: Forty kidney transplant recipients were 1:1 randomized to belatacept or tacrolimus combined with basiliximab, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisolone. The 1-year incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection was monitored. Potential biomarkers, namely, CD8+CD28−, CD4+CD57+PD1−, and CD8+CD28++ end-stage terminally differentiated memory T cells were measured pretransplantation and posttransplantation and correlated to rejection. Pharmacodynamic monitoring of belatacept was performed by measuring free CD86 on monocytes. Results: The rejection incidence was higher in belatacept-treated than tacrolimus-treated patients: 55% versus 10% (P = 0.006). All 3 graft losses, due to rejection, occurred in the belatacept group. Although 4 of 5 belatacept-treated patients with greater than 35 cells CD8+CD28++ end-stage terminally differentiated memory T cells/μL rejected, median pretransplant values of the biomarkers did not differ between belatacept-treated rejectors and nonrejectors. In univariable Cox regressions, the studied cell subsets were not associated with rejection-risk. CD86 molecules on circulating monocytes in belatacept-treated patients were saturated at all timepoints. Conclusions: Belatacept-based immunosuppressive therapy resulted in higher and more severe acute rejection compared with tacrolimus-based therapy. This trial did not identify cellular biomarkers predictive of rejection. In addition, the CD28-CD80/86 costimulatory pathway appeared to be sufficiently blocked by belatacept and did not predict rejection.
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