Two-dose basiliximab compared with two-dose daclizumab in renal transplantation: a clinical study

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Addition of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) antagonists basiliximab or daclizumab to a calcineurin inhibitor-based regimen significantly reduces risk of acute rejection with a tolerability profile similar to a placebo. Use of a truncated two-dose regimen of daclizumab has been reported, but till date, there has been no controlled study of two-dose daclizumab vs. two-dose basiliximab.


Deceased-donor renal transplant recipients were randomized to basiliximab (20 mg on days 0 and 4) or daclizumab (50 mg on days 1 and 14) with cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids. Flow cytometry was used to calculate the proportion of CD25+ T cells in peripheral blood.


Thirty patients were randomized to basiliximab and 28 to daclizumab. There was one patient death in each group, with no other graft losses. By six months, the incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection was 0% with basiliximab vs. 21.4% with daclizumab (p<0.05). Three patients in the daclizumab group required OKT3 for steroid-resistant rejection. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of infection. The proportion of CD25+ T cells declined markedly during the first two wk in both groups, but was significantly lower in the basiliximab group during weeks six to eight.


Two doses of basiliximab are more effective than two 1 mg/kg doses of daclizumab in preventing acute rejection in de novo renal transplant patients receiving cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroid maintenance therapy. In patients receiving relatively low-level immunosuppression in order to minimize toxicity, basiliximab may be preferable to a truncated daclizumab regimen.

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