Alemtuzumab (Campath-1H): A Systematic Review in Organ Transplantation.

Morris, PJ; Russell, NK; (2006) Alemtuzumab (Campath-1H): A Systematic Review in Organ Transplantation. Transplantation, 81 (10). pp. 1361-7. ISSN 0041-1337

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Alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) is a powerful antilymphocyte antibody that produces profound and long-lasting lymphopenia. It is being used with increasing frequency for induction in organ transplantation, with the aim of allowing steroid-free and/or calcineurin-free/sparing maintenance immunosuppressive protocols. Despite a considerable experience with this agent, mostly in kidney transplantation, there are only two relatively small randomized controlled trials available, and therefore the level of evidence for its role in transplantation is limited. Nevertheless, it does appear that the incidence of acute rejection is low after induction with alemtuzumab, perhaps if used with a calcineurin inhibitor, and that steroid-free and calcineurin-sparing protocols are possible. Although there is a profound and long-lasting T cell lymphopenia after administration of alemtuzumab, there is no apparent increase in infection, posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease, or other side effects, other than perhaps autoimmune disease. Whether alemtuzumab is more effective than Thymoglobulin or anti-interleukin 2 receptor antibodies cannot be answered at this time. However from a cost aspect, the use of alemtuzumab for induction compares more than favorably with other lymphocyte-depleting agents. Alemtuzumab is an attractive agent for induction in organ transplantation, but there is a need for more and larger randomized trials with long-term follow-up before its true role can be established, particularly with respect to safety.

Item Type: Article
PubMed ID: 16732169


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