Background. This is the first report of a randomized, multicenter, clinical trial comparing the combination of sirolimus or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) with tacrolimus-based immunosuppression in kidney transplantation. Results at 6 months of follow-up are presented. Methods. Before transplantation, patients were randomized to receive tacrolimus plus corticosteroids with sirolimus (n=185) or MMF (n=176). The primary endpoint of the study was the incidence of biopsyconfirmed acute rejection. Patient and graft survival, renal function, and composite endpoints also were evaluated. Safety was assessed by monitoring laboratory parameters and adverse events. Results. By 6 months of follow-up, the incidence of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection was similar in both treatment groups (13.0% tacrolimus+sirolimus vs. 11.4% tacrolimus+MMF; P=0.64 log-rank). Patient survival (97.3% tacrolimus+sirolimus vs. 97.7% tacrolimus+MMF) and graft survival (93.0% tacrolimus+sirolimus vs. 95.5% tacrolimus+MMF) were equivalent (P=0.53, overall survival log-rank). There was a significantly higher incidence of study drug discontinuation in patients receiving sirolimus (21.1% vs. 10.8%; P=0.008). Renal function was significantly better in the MMF-treatment group (serum creatinine 1.44±0.45 mg/dL vs. 1.77±1.42 mg/dL; P=0.018). Hyperlipidemia was significantly more prevalent in the sirolimus-treatment group. Diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in sirolimus-treated patients. There were significantly more leukopenia and gastrointestinal adverse events in the MMF-treatment group. The incidence of posttransplant diabetes mellitus was 7.6% in the sirolimus group and 7.7% in the MMF group. Conclusion. Tacrolimus is equally effective in renal transplantation when combined with sirolimus or MMF. The tacrolimus-MMF combination may be superior in terms of improved renal function and improved cardiovascular risk factors including hyperlipidemia and hypertension.
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