A large Phase III clinical trial with the novel proliferation signal inhibitor, Certican (everolimus), has shown this agent to be associated with lower rates of acute rejection, cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection when compared with azathioprine (AZA) at 12 months post-transplant. Given that CAV is the main risk factor for mortality after the first year post-transplant, and that acute rejection and CMV infection play a key role in the development of this disease, the findings suggest that everolimus has an important role as part of the primary immunosuppression of this population. Consideration of the presentation and outcome of patients from Stanford University who were enrolled in the pivotal trial with everolimus in heart transplantation has highlighted the efficacy of everolimus in this setting. Analysis of the angiographic outcome data of these patients demonstrates that the efficacy of everolimus observed in the large, multicenter trial involving heart transplant patients was replicated in the findings of a single center. This finding is important for the interpretation of clinical trial data, offering reassurance that data from large trials are applicable to an individual center. The results from Stanford also reveal an important difference between everolimus and AZA with regard to intimal thickening and the incidence of abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), suggesting that everolimus may improve left ventricular function. Because abnormal LVEF has been associated with greater risk of vascular rejection and allograft vascular disease, use of everolimus could well improve long-term outcomes in heart transplant recipients.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2005.01.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000228015300003
View details for PubMedID 15774321