A Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Flexible-Design Randomized Multicenter Trial: Early Safety of Single- Versus Divided-Dose Rabbit Anti-Thymocyte Globulin Induction in Renal Transplantation

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A previous nonblinded, randomized, single-center renal transplantation trial of single-dose rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin induction (SD-rATG) showed improved efficacy compared with conventional divided-dose (DD-rATG) administration. The present multicenter, double-blind/double-dummy STAT trial (Single dose vs. Traditional Administration of Thymoglobulin) evaluated SD-rATG versus DD-rATG induction for noninferiority in early (7-day) safety and tolerability. Ninety-five patients (randomized 1:1) received 6 mg/kg SD-rATG or 1.5 mg/kg/dose DD-rATG, with tacrolimus-mycophenolate maintenance immunosuppression. The primary end point was a composite of fever, hypoxia, hypotension, cardiac complications, and delayed graft function. Secondary end points included 12-month patient survival, graft survival, and rejection. Target enrollment was 165 patients with an interim analysis scheduled after 80 patients. Interim analysis showed primary end point noninferiority of SD-rATG induction (p = 0.6), and a conditional probability of <1.73% of continued enrollment producing a significant difference (futility analysis), leading to early trial termination. Final analysis (95 patients) showed no differences in occurrence of primary end point events (p = 0.58) or patients with no, one, or more than one event (p = 0.81), or rejection, graft, or patient survival (p = 0.78, 0.47, and 0.35, respectively). In this rigorously blinded trial in adult renal transplantation, we have shown SD-rATG induction to be noninferior to DD-rATG induction in early tolerability and equivalent in 12-month safety. (Clinical Trials.gov #NCT00906204.)

A double-blind, randomized, noninferiority clinical trial finds no early safety or efficacy issues with immunosuppression induction using a single 6 mg/kg dose of rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin instead of the conventional four 1.5 mg/kg doses across four days.

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