TruGraf® Long-term Clinical Outcomes Study


About this study

The purpose of this study is to evaluate post-transplant clinical outcomes in receipients of kidney transplants who are undergoing TruGraf® and TRAC™ monitoring.


Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Written informed consent and HIPAA authorization.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Recipient of a primary or subsequent deceased-donor or living-donor kidney transplant.
  • At least 1-year post-transplant (+/- 2 months).
  • Stable serum creatinine (current serum creatinine < 2.3 mg/dl, < 20% increase compared to the average of the previous 3 serum creatinine levels).
  • Treated with any immunosuppressive regimen.
  • Selected by provider to undergo TruGraf® and TRAC™ testing as part of post-transplant care.
  • Has Medicare Part B coverage or private insurance

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Recipient of a combined organ transplant with an extra-renal organ and/or islet cell transplant.
  • Recipient of a previous non-renal solid organ and/or islet cell transplant.
  • Known to be pregnant.
  • Known to be infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  • Known to have BK nephropathy.
  • Known to have nephrotic proteinuria (urine protein > 3 gm/day).

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Hasan Khamash, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Julieta Williams

(480) 342-1785

More information


  • TruGraf v1 is a laboratory-developed DNA microarray-based gene expression blood test to enable proactive noninvasive serial assessment of kidney transplant recipients with stable renal function. It has been previously validated in patients identified as Transplant eXcellence (TX: stable serum creatinine, normal biopsy results, indicative of immune quiescence), and not-TX (renal dysfunction and/or rejection on biopsy results). TruGraf v1 is intended for use in subjects with stable renal function to measure the immune status as an alternative to invasive, expensive, and risky surveillance biopsies. Read More on PubMed
  • Quantification of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in circulating blood derived from a transplanted organ is a powerful approach to monitoring post-transplant injury. Genome transplant dynamics (GTD) quantifies donor-derived cfDNA (dd-cfDNA) by taking advantage of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the genome to discriminate donor and recipient DNA molecules. In its current implementation, GTD requires genotyping of both the transplant recipient and donor. However, in practice, donor genotype information is often unavailable. Here, we address this issue by developing an algorithm that estimates dd-cfDNA levels in the absence of a donor genotype. Our algorithm predicts heart and lung allograft rejection with an accuracy that is similar to conventional GTD. We furthermore refined the algorithm to handle closely related recipients and donors, a scenario that is common in bone marrow and kidney transplantation. We show that it is possible to estimate dd-cfDNA in bone marrow transplant patients that are unrelated or that are siblings of the donors, using a hidden Markov model (HMM) of identity-by-descent (IBD) states along the genome. Last, we demonstrate that comparing dd-cfDNA to the proportion of donor DNA in white blood cells can differentiate between relapse and the onset of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). These methods alleviate some of the barriers to the implementation of GTD, which will further widen its clinical application. Read More on PubMed
  • Kidney transplant provides significant survival, cost, and quality-of-life benefits over dialysis in patients with end-stage kidney disease, but the number of kidney transplant candidates on the waiting list continues to grow annually. By the end of 2014, nearly 100,000 adult candidates and 1500 pediatric candidates were waiting for kidney transplant. Not surprisingly, waiting times also continued to increase, along with the number of adult candidates removed from the list due to death or deteriorating medical condition. Death censored graft survival has increased after both living and deceased donor transplants over the past decade in adult recipients. The majority of the trends seen over the past 5 years continued in 2014. However, the new allocation system was implemented in late 2014, providing an opportunity to assess changes in these trends in the coming years. Read More on PubMed
  • After organ transplantation, donor-derived cell-free DNA (ddcfDNA) can be detected in the recipient's blood and urine. Different ddcfDNA quantification techniques have been investigated but a major breakthrough was made with the introduction of digital droplet PCR and massive parallel sequencing creating the opportunity to increase the understanding of ddcfDNA kinetics after transplantation. The observations of increased levels of ddcfDNA during acute rejection and even weeks to months before histologic features of graft rejection point to a possible role of ddcfDNA as an early, noninvasive rejection marker. In this review, we summarize published research on ddcfDNA in the transplantation field thereby elaborating on its clinical utility. Read More on PubMed
  • The survival rate following lung transplantation is among the lowest of all solid-organ transplants, and current diagnostic tests often fail to distinguish between infection and rejection, the two primary posttransplant clinical complications. We describe a diagnostic assay that simultaneously monitors for rejection and infection in lung transplant recipients by sequencing of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma. We determined that the levels of donor-derived cfDNA directly correlate with the results of invasive tests of rejection (area under the curve 0.9). We also analyzed the nonhuman cfDNA as a hypothesis-free approach to test for infections. Cytomegalovirus is most frequently assayed clinically, and the levels of CMV-derived sequences in cfDNA are consistent with clinical results. We furthermore show that hypothesis-free monitoring for pathogens using cfDNA reveals undiagnosed cases of infection, and that certain infectious pathogens such as human herpesvirus (HHV) 6, HHV-7, and adenovirus, which are not often tested clinically, occur with high frequency in this cohort. Read More on PubMed
  • Kidney allograft rejection can occur in clinically stable patients, but long-term significance is unknown. We determined whether early recognition of subclinical rejection has long-term consequences for kidney allograft survival in an observational prospective cohort study of 1307 consecutive nonselected patients who underwent ABO-compatible, complement-dependent cytotoxicity-negative crossmatch kidney transplantation in Paris (2000-2010). Participants underwent prospective screening biopsies at 1 year post-transplant, with concurrent evaluations of graft complement deposition and circulating anti-HLA antibodies. The main analysis included 1001 patients. Three distinct groups of patients were identified at the 1-year screening: 727 (73%) patients without rejection, 132 (13%) patients with subclinical T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), and 142 (14%) patients with subclinical antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). Patients with subclinical ABMR had the poorest graft survival at 8 years post-transplant (56%) compared with subclinical TCMR (88%) and nonrejection (90%) groups (P<0.001). In a multivariate Cox model, subclinical ABMR at 1 year was independently associated with a 3.5-fold increase in graft loss (95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 5.7) along with eGFR and proteinuria (P<0.001). Subclinical ABMR was associated with more rapid progression to transplant glomerulopathy. Of patients with subclinical TCMR at 1 year, only those who further developed de novo donor-specific antibodies and transplant glomerulopathy showed higher risk of graft loss compared with patients without rejection. Our findings suggest that subclinical TCMR and subclinical ABMR have distinct effects on long-term graft loss. Subclinical ABMR detected at the 1-year screening biopsy carries a prognostic value independent of initial donor-specific antibody status, previous immunologic events, current eGFR, and proteinuria. Read More on PubMed
  • Kidney allografts are frequently lost due to alloimmunity. Still, the impact of early acute rejection (AR) on long-term graft survival is debated. We examined this relationship focusing on graft histology post-AR and assessing specific causes of graft loss. Included are 797 recipients without anti-donor antibodies (DSA) at transplant who had 1 year protocol biopsies. 15.2% of recipients had AR diagnosed by protocol or clinical biopsies. Compared to no-AR, all histologic types of AR led to abnormal histology in 1 and 2 years protocol biopsies, including more fibrosis + inflammation (6.3% vs. 21.9%), moderate/severe fibrosis (7.7% vs. 13.5%) and transplant glomerulopathy (1.4% vs. 8.3%, all p < 0.0001). AR were associated with reduced graft survival (HR = 3.07 (1.92-4.94), p < 0.0001). However, only those AR episodes followed by abnormal histology led to reduced graft survival. Early AR related to more late alloimmune-mediated graft losses, particularly transplant glomerulopathy (31% of losses). Related to this outcome, recipients with AR were more likely to have new DSA class II 1 year posttransplant (no-AR, 11.1%; AR, 21.2%, p = 0.039). In DSA negative recipients, early AR often leads to persistent graft inflammation and increases the risk of new DSA II production. Both of these post-AR events are associated with increased risk of graft loss. Read More on PubMed
  • Individual studies indicate that kidney transplantation is associated with lower mortality and improved quality of life compared with chronic dialysis treatment. We did a systematic review to summarize the benefits of transplantation, aiming to identify characteristics associated with especially large or small relative benefit. Results were not pooled because of expected diversity inherent to observational studies. Risk of bias was assessed using the Downs and Black checklist and items related to time-to-event analysis techniques. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched up to February 2010. Cohort studies comparing adult chronic dialysis patients with kidney transplantation recipients for clinical outcomes were selected. We identified 110 eligible studies with a total of 1 922 300 participants. Most studies found significantly lower mortality associated with transplantation, and the relative magnitude of the benefit seemed to increase over time (p < 0.001). Most studies also found that the risk of cardiovascular events was significantly reduced among transplant recipients. Quality of life was significantly and substantially better among transplant recipients. Despite increases in the age and comorbidity of contemporary transplant recipients, the relative benefits of transplantation seem to be increasing over time. These findings validate current attempts to increase the number of people worldwide that benefit from kidney transplantation. Read More on PubMed
  • It is challenging to monitor the health of transplanted organs, particularly with respect to rejection by the host immune system. Because transplanted organs have genomes that are distinct from the recipient's genome, we used high throughput shotgun sequencing to develop a universal noninvasive approach to monitoring organ health. We analyzed cell-free DNA circulating in the blood of heart transplant recipients and observed significantly increased levels of cell-free DNA from the donor genome at times when an endomyocardial biopsy independently established the presence of acute cellular rejection in these heart transplant recipients. Our results demonstrate that cell-free DNA can be used to detect an organ-specific signature that correlates with rejection, and this measurement can be made on any combination of donor and recipient. This noninvasive test holds promise for replacing the endomyocardial biopsy in heart transplant recipients and may be applicable to other solid organ transplants. Read More on PubMed
  • Acute rejection is known to have a strong impact on graft survival. Many studies suggest that very low acute rejection rates can be achieved with current immunosuppressive protocols. We wanted to investigate how acute rejection rates have evolved on a national level in the U.S. and how this has impacted graft survival in the most recent era of kidney transplantation. For this purpose, we analyzed data provided by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients regarding all adult first renal transplants between 1995 and 2000. We noted a significant decrease in overall acute rejection rates during the first 6 months, during the first year, and also in late rejections during the second year after transplantation. Despite this decrease in the rate of acute rejection, there was no significant improvement in overall graft survival; furthermore, we noted a statistically significant trend towards worse death-censored graft survival. There was also a trend for a greater proportion of rejection episodes to fail to recover to previous baseline function after treatment. Our data suggest that decreasing acute rejection rates between 1995 and 2000 have not led to an increase in long-term graft survival. Part of this discordance might be related to a higher proportion of acute rejections which have not resolved with full functional recovery in more recent years. However, the etiology of this concerning trend for worse death censored graft survival in recent years will warrant further investigation. Read More on PubMed
  • The prevalence of subclinical rejection, by the Banff criteria, is approximately 30% in the first 3 mo in renal transplant recipients. A randomized study was performed to determine whether the treatment of subclinical rejection with corticosteroids was associated with improved outcomes in these patients. Seventy-two patients, stratified by donor source, were randomized to biopsies at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 mo (Biopsy group), or to 6- and 12-mo biopsies only (Control group). Patients were analyzed by "intent to treat" and were followed for a minimum of 2 yr. Patients in the Biopsy arm of the study had a significant decrease in early (months 2 and 3) and late (months 7 to 12) acute rejection episodes, a reduced chronic tubulointerstitial score at 6 mo, and a lower serum creatinine at 24 mo than did patients in the Control arm. There was a trend toward an increase in infectious morbidity, but no increase in mortality, in the patients randomized to the Biopsy group. The results of this study suggest that early protocol biopsies and the treatment of subclinical rejection with corticosteroids may lead to better histologic and functional outcomes in renal transplant recipients. Read More on PubMed

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