Adolescent transplant recipients are at risk for nonadherence, development of de novo donor-specific antibody (dnDSA), and allograft loss. Belatacept, a selective T cell costimulatory blocker, is associated with reduced dnDSA, improved renal function, and prolonged allograft survival when compared to calcineurin inhibitor-based regimens in adults; however, its use in children is scant. Three adolescents were initiated on belatacept between August 2017 and September 2018 at the time of kidney transplantation. Selection criteria included age ≥ 14 and EBV IgG + serostatus. Intraoperative alemtuzumab and methylprednisolone were given as induction therapy. Tailored maintenance therapy included steroid-free belatacept and sirolimus for two patients. One patient was initially maintained steroid-free on belatacept and belimumab, an inhibitor of B cell activating factor to treat concurrent systemic lupus erythematous; steroids were added subsequently. Renal function, biopsy-proven rejection, dnDSA, allograft survival, infection, nonadherence, and proteinuria were monitored. Renal function was 86, 73, 52 mL/min/1.73 m2 at 20, 20, and 8 months, respectively. There was 100% adherence to therapy and no development of dnDSA. All patients had treatable infections. One developed steroid-responsive acute cellular rejection. Belatacept-based regimens can be tailored for adolescent recipients with good short-term clinical outcomes.
- clinical research
- immune modulation
- immunosuppressant - fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies
- kidney transplantation