From cyclosporine to the future

C. Ponticelli, A. Tarantino, M. Campise, G. Montagnino, A. Aroldi, P. Passerini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most of the experience acquired in our unit with cyclosporine (CsA) comes from randomized trials. A first trial demonstrated that CsA-treated patients had a better 10-year graft survival than azathioprine-treated patients. A second trial showed equivalence between double therapy with CsA plus steroids and triple therapy with CsA, steroids, and azatioprine. A third trial showed similar 2-year graft survival with CsA monotherapy and triple therapy. A larger multicenter study that compared three different CsA-based regimens showed similar long-term graft survival with monotherapy, double therapy, and triple therapy. However, patients given monotherapy had less frequent steroid-related side-effects. Finally a more recent multicenter international trial showed that the rate of acute rejection can be reduced without increasing side effects by adding the monoclonal antibody basiliximab to the triple therapy. By reviewing our cumulative experience with CsA we found a mean graft half-life of 18.7 years for cadaver renal transplant recipients and 31.9 for the living transplant recipients. No significant attrition of graft function was found for patients with grafts functioning at 15 years. Two important issues with the present immunosuppression concern the long-term nephrotoxicity of calcineurin inhibitors and the cardiovascular disease, which is at least in part related to the use of steroids. To face these problems, we are currently involved in two multicenter trials, one comparing sirolimus plus mycophenolate mofetil to sirolimus plus low-dose CsA, while the other trial compares certican plus CsA to certican plus CsA plus corticosteroids.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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