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Authors Niederhaus SV, Kaufman DB, Odorico JS
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Journal Transpl. Int. Volume: 26 Issue: 7 Pages: 704-14
Publish Date 2013 Jul
PubMed ID 23672537

Induction therapy, the initial high-dose bolus of immunosuppression given perioperatively to transplant patients, is almost ubiquitous in pancreas transplantation. Despite the frequent use, scientific data on the risks and benefits of induction therapy are scarce, especially as it concerns use specifically for pancreas transplantation. Indeed, none of the currently used induction agents are approved as induction therapy for pancreas transplantation, yet potential benefit is largely extrapolated from trials in kidney transplant recipients. This review summarizes which induction therapy agents are available both now and historically, their mechanisms of action, and provides an overview of the published literature describing the use of these agents in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant and solitary pancreas transplant recipients. In summary, there are two multicenter randomized trials, several single-center randomized trials, and many other single-center descriptive reports. Overall, the main benefit of induction therapy is the ability to wean steroids earlier, and the main downside is a higher risk of opportunistic infections. Despite a lack of solid evidence, over 90% of pancreas transplants performed annually in the United States receive some type of induction immunosuppression. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System