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Results From Largest Study of Anti-Rejection Therapy for Heart Transplant Patients Will be Released at ISHLT Meeting
Date:4/14/2011

above and less infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV).

In this study, 282 patients received Everolimus at 1.5mg/day dose, 168 received Everolimus at 3mg/day dose and 271 received MMF.  Investigators noted that the 3mg arm was terminated early by the Data Safety Monitoring Board due to higher mortality.

"All immunosuppression drugs are complicated and require experience with these drugs to determine the best way to use them.  This trial has provided enough experience with Everolimus to teach us how to use this medication to help patients.  If Everolimus is combined with a low dose of CsA and we can minimize the use of immunosuppression therapy post transplant, then Everolimus reduces the likelihood of severe complications, like transplant coronary disease and CMV," said Dr. Eisen.

Researchers noted that further study is required to answer additional questions, such as those related to the issue of malignancy.  Other studies suggest a potential beneficial effect with the class of drugs that includes Everolimus in blocking a certain protein leading to malignant growth, but further research is needed to demonstrate real benefit.

Dr. Eisen concluded that this research is very promising.  MMF is a very effective drug, and results showing the same rate of rejection with Everolimus are not surprising.  However, the positive results demonstrating that using less CsA to reduce the likelihood of renal failure with the same incidence of rejection and a reduced incidence of transplant coronary disease and CMV confirm that Everolimus is an effective anti-rejection therapy for heart transplant patients.

About ISHLT

The International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of end-stage heart and lung diseases.  Created in 1981, the Society now includes more than 2,200 members from 45-plus
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SOURCE International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation
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