Among those allocated alemtuzumab-based induction therapy, 7.3% experienced acute rejection compared to 16.0% of those allocated basiliximab-based induction therapy a halving in the risk of early rejection.
'These are important findings which we hope will guide treatments in the future,' said Professor Friend.
Although alemtuzumab has been available for many years, its use has been limited by concerns about possible side effects, in particular infections.
But no overall excess in serious side effects such as infections and cancer was found in patients on the treatment, the scientists report.
Medical Research Council-funded researcher, Dr Richard Haynes of the Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford University, said: 'The safety data from the 3C Study are reassuring. There was no overall excess risk of infections or other known complications of immunosuppression.'
Medical Research Council scientist Professor Colin Baigent, one of the other lead investigators, said: 'These results from the first 6 months of the 3C Study demonstrate the importance of large randomized trials in transplantation. The planned long-term follow-up of the 3C Study will provide a unique opportunity to investigate whether these differences in short-term outcomes translate into improvements in the long-term which will be of great interest to patients and their doctors.'
Dr Richard Haynes expressed his gratitude to all of the participants in the study: 'Without their help we would not have been able to make this progress towards improving the care of people who receive kidney transplants,' he said.
Prof James Neuberger, Associate Medical Director at NHS Bloo
|Contact: Andrew Trehearne|
University of Oxford