MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rita R. Alloway, PharmD, FCCP
Research Professor of Medicine
Director, Transplant Clinical Research
University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Nephrology
Kidney C.A.R.E. Program
(Clinical Advancement, Research & Education)
Cincinnati OH 45267
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Transplant recipients are required to take lifelong immunosuppression to sustain the function of their transplant. Unfortunately these immunosuppressants have significant side effects. The most significant of these side effects are worsening kidney function, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, post transplant diabetes, tremors and headaches. Researchers focused on improving post transplant outcomes are looking for immunosuppressant regimens with similar efficacy while minimizing harmful side effects.
Tacrolimus and steroids are the immunosuppressants associated with the worst side effect profiles. This study eliminated both of these immunosuppressants and replace tacrolimus with belatacept. Belatacept is a once monthly intravenous infusion with a more favorable side effect profile compared to tacrolimus. In addition, since it is a monthly infusion, adherence can improved compared to an oral medication taken twice daily.