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Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs, eg, tacrolimus) reduce short-term kidney transplant failure, but chronic nephrotoxicity may contribute to late transplant loss. Elective conversion to inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, eg, sirolimus) pathway might avoid long-term CNI renal damage and improve outcomes. The 3C Study was a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of sequential randomizations between alemtuzumab and basiliximab induction therapy (at the time of surgery) and between tacrolimus and sirolimus maintenance therapy at 6 months posttransplantation. The primary outcome of this analysis was estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at 18 months after maintenance therapy randomization; 197 patients were assigned sirolimus-based and 197 to tacrolimus-based therapy. Allocation to sirolimus had no significant effect on eGFR at 18 months: baseline-adjusted mean (SEM) eGFR was 53.7 (0.9) mL/min/1.73 m2 in the sirolimus group versus 54.6 (0.9) mL/min/1.73 m2 in the tacrolimus group (P = .50). Biopsy-proven acute rejection (29 [14.7%]) vs 6 [3.0%]; P < .001) and serious infections (defined as opportunistic infections or those requiring hospitalization; 95 [48.2%] vs 70 [35.5%]; P = .008) were more common among participants allocated sirolimus. Compared with tacrolimus-based therapy, sirolimus-based maintenance therapy did not improve transplant function at 18 months after conversion and was associated with significant hazards of rejection and infection. identifier NCT01120028 and ISRCTN88894088.

Original publication




Journal article


Am j transplant

Publication Date





1424 - 1434


clinical research/practice, immunosuppressant - calcineurin inhibitor (CNI), immunosuppressant - fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies: alemtuzumab, immunosuppressant - fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies: basiliximab/daclizumab, immunosuppressant - mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), immunosuppression/immune modulation, kidney transplantation/nephrology