Preformed T cell alloimmunity and HLA eplet mismatch to guide immunosuppression minimization with tacrolimus monotherapy in kidney transplantation: Results of the CELLIMIN trial
SourceAmerican Journal of Transplantation, 21, 8, (2021), pp. 2833-2845
Article / Letter to editor
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American Journal of Transplantation
SubjectRadboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Personalizing immunosuppression is a major objective in transplantation. Transplant recipients are heterogeneous regarding their immunological memory and primary alloimmune susceptibility. This biomarker-guided trial investigated whether in low immunological-risk kidney transplants without pretransplant DSA and donor-specific T cells assessed by a standardized IFN-γ ELISPOT, low immunosuppression (LI) with tacrolimus monotherapy would be non-inferior regarding 6-month BPAR than tacrolimus-based standard of care (SOC). Due to low recruitment rates, the trial was terminated when 167 patients were enrolled. ELISPOT negatives (E-) were randomized to LI (n = 48) or SOC (n = 53), E+ received the same SOC. Six- and 12-month BPAR rates were higher among LI than SOC/E- (4/35 [13%] vs. 1/43 [2%], p = .15 and 12/48 [25%] vs. 6/53 [11.3%], p = .073, respectively). E+ patients showed similarly high BPAR rates than LI at 6 and 12 months (12/55 [22%] and 13/66 [20%], respectively). These differences were stronger in per-protocol analyses. Post-hoc analysis revealed that poor class-II eplet matching, especially DQ, discriminated E- patients, notably E-/LI, developing BPAR (4/28 [14%] low risk vs. 8/20 [40%] high risk, p = .043). Eplet mismatch also predicted anti-class-I (p = .05) and anti-DQ (p < .001) de novo DSA. Adverse events were similar, but E-/LI developed fewer viral infections, particularly polyoma-virus-associated nephropathy (p = .021). Preformed T cell alloreactivity and HLA eplet mismatch assessment may refine current baseline immune-risk stratification and guide immunosuppression decision-making in kidney transplantation.
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