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Affordable anti-rejection drug as effective as higher cost option
Date:10/15/2009

ant to pay a price when we're trying to do that by leaving the patient over-immunosuppressed," he said. "We were being cautious, but this study reveals that, through at least two years of follow up, both drugs are equally effective and safe."

In the study of 222 patients receiving either kidney transplants alone, simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants, or pancreas-after-kidney transplants, researchers found that both drugs showed similar survival rates for the patients (96 percent), the transplanted kidneys (89 percent) and the transplanted pancreases (90 percent). The drugs also had similar infection rates.

From Feb. 1, 2005, to Sept. 1, 2007, transplant patients participating in the study received either alemtuzumab or rabbit antithymocyte globulin, followed by the same course of maintenance drugs. Both groups included patients who varied in age, race, gender and risk a unique approach with clinical studies, which usually look at a group with similar characteristics.

The researchers wanted to design this study one of the largest single-institution trials for transplantation drugs to reflect the actual demographics of the Medical Center's transplant patients, Farney said. Transplantation Services at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center performs more than 150 kidney and pancreas transplants each year.

"It represents who we really transplant at Wake Forest Baptist," Farney said. "Other trials are so exclusive that you don't know what the true results are for most people."

As a result of the study, the Wake Forest Baptist Transplant Program has adopted the newer drug as part of its standard anti-rejection protocol for kidney and pancreas transplantation, Farney said.


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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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