Alemtuzumab and liver transplantation: A review

Shawn Dhesi, Brendon Boland, Steven D Colquhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Liver transplantation has always been fraught with conflict. The ongoing shortage of organs for transplantation has led to sicker recipients and the pressure to utilize more marginal grafts. At the same time, increasing public scrutiny and regulatory oversight have emphasized lower costs and better outcomes. This environment exaggerates the importance of the most fundamental conflict: that between preventing allograft rejection and avoiding the toxicities of immunosuppressive agents and the risks of infection. Resolving this struggle requires skillful balancing and a need to keep abreast of the latest developments. Alemtuzumab is a still-new agent with relatively little clinical experience that, therefore, deserves a review and an update of current knowledge in the setting of liver transplantation. RECENT FINDINGS: The use of alemtuzumab in liver transplant recipients has shown promise with little information to support concerns over significantly increased risks of infectious complications. However, there have been very few studies overall and fewer still in the last 2-3 years. Much of what is known must still be extrapolated from experience in kidney transplant recipients. SUMMARY: Alemtuzumab appears to be a drug with significant potential advantages for liver transplant recipients. Improved renal function may be the largest potential advantage. However, the advantages may be offset in some groups. Defining subgroups will be critical to the definition of the optimal role of alemtuzumab in liver transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alemtuzumab
  • Campath 1H
  • Immunosuppression
  • Liver
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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