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Background.Acute rejection is still a major problem in renal transplantation and is one of the most important causes of chronic graft dysfunction and late graft loss. Selective immunosuppression with a humanized antibody against the α-chain of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor (CD25) was evaluated to demonstrate the efficacy of this type of immunoprophylaxis in combination with dual immunosuppression.Methods.We studied the effect of daclizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the α-chain of the IL-2 receptor, in a randomized double-blind, prospective phase III clinical trial in 275 patients receiving a first cadaveric renal allograft. Among them 111 (83%) in the placebo arm and 116 (82%) in the daclizumab arm received the full regimen of five doses (1.0 mg/kg) every other week. Baseline immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporine and corticosteroids.Results.At 6 months, 39 (28%) of the patients in the daclizumab group had biopsy-proven rejections, as compared with 63 (47%) in the placebo group (P=0.001). The need for additional antilymphocyte therapy, antithymocyte globulin, antilymphocyte globulin (ATG, ALG, OKT3) was also lower in the daclizumab group (8% vs. 16%, P=0.02), and they required significantly lower mean (± SD) cumulative doses of prednisone (3750±1981 mg vs. 4438±2667 mg in the placebo group, P=0.01). Graft function was significantly better (P=0.02) in the daclizumab group (graft function rate: 58 vs. 51 ml/min, mean) as was patient survival (P=0.01, 99% vs. 94%). No specific adverse events were observed in daclizumab-treated patients. Patients receiving daclizumab experienced fewer cytomegalovirus infections (18% vs. 25%), and none died from severe infectious complications, compared to four patients in the placebo arm. No patient in the daclizumab group had a lymphoproliferative disorder or any other form of immunosuppression-related tumor during the first year after transplant.Conclusions.Administration of daclizumab in addition to dual immunosuppression therapy significantly reduced biopsy-proven acute rejection after renal transplantation, improved patient survival, and did not add to the toxicity of the immunosuppressive regimen.

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