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Kidney Watch News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


January 18, 2011, 7:17 AM CT

Kidney gene and heart failure risk

Kidney gene and heart failure risk
Gerald W. Dorn II, MD is a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Credit: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


Researchers have identified the first DNA sequence variant common in the population that is not only linked to an increased risk of heart failure, but appears to play a role in causing it.

The variant, a change in a single letter of the DNA sequence, impairs channels that control kidney function.

"It's not a heart gene," says Gerald W. Dorn II, MD, the Philip and Sima K. Needleman Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a lead investigator on the study. "It's a kidney gene. This protein is not even expressed in the heart. Nobody has previously considered that kidney-specific gene defects might predispose you to heart failure".

Heart failure is diagnosed when the heart can no longer provide sufficient blood to the body. It can have many causes, including high blood pressure, cancer treatment, viral infections of the heart or heart attack.

"It's a syndrome," Dorn says. "You've had sufficient damage to your heart that it doesn't work very well. You collect fluid in your lungs, you swell up, and you have trouble breathing".

The unexpected results highlight the advantage of performing genome-wide studies to find DNA sequence variants linked to disease.

"I was surprised by the finding," says Thomas P. Cappola, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, also a lead investigator on the study. "This is a good example of how taking unbiased approaches to study human disease can lead you to unexpected targets".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


December 25, 2010, 10:32 AM CT

Eat your veggies, reward your kidneys

Eat your veggies, reward your kidneys
Phosphorous levels plummet in kidney disease patients who stick to a vegetarian diet, as per a research studyappearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The results suggest that eating vegetables rather than meat can help kidney disease patients avoid accumulating toxic levels of this mineral in their bodies.

Individuals with kidney disease cannot adequately rid the body of phosphorus, which is found in dietary proteins and is a common food additive. Kidney disease patients must limit their phosphorous intake, as high levels of the mineral can lead to heart disease and death. While medical guidelines recommend low phosphorus diets for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), phosphorus content is not listed on food labels.

Sharon Moe, MD (Indiana University School of Medicine and Roudebush Veterans' Affairs Medical Center) and her colleagues studied the effects of vegetarian and meat-based diets on phosphorous levels in nine patients with CKD. Patients followed a vegetarian or meat-based diet for one week, followed by the opposite diet two-to four- weeks later. Blood and urine tests were performed at the end of each week on both diets.

Despite equivalent protein and phosphorus concentrations in the two diets, patients had lower blood phosphorus levels and decreased phosphorus excretion in the urine when they were on the vegetarian diet compared with the meat-based diet. While the researchers did not determine the reason for this difference, a grain-based diet has a lower phosphate-to-protein ratio and much of the phosphate is in the form of phytate, which is not absorbed in humans.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 11, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Growing crisis in kidney care

Growing crisis in kidney care
An estimated 26 million people, 13% of the United States population, are living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and this number continues to grow. If current trends continue, there will not be enough doctors to serve this expanding patient population.

To help address this crisis, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is convening a Summit on the Nephrology Workforce during its upcoming ASN Renal Week 2010 in Denver, Colorado, on November 17. Participants will discuss this crisis, its implications, and strategies to increase the number of kidney disease doctors in the United States.

"The ASN leadership is deeply concerned whether there will be enough nephrologists in the future to meet the growing demand for kidney specialists," explains ASN Councilor Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN, who chairs the ASN Task Force on Increasing Interest in Nephrology Careers.

The ASN Task Force is working to increase interest in kidney disease among medical students and internal medicine residents, especially among underrepresented minorities and women. During the summit, Dr. Molitoris will present the task force's final recommendations, which include ways to improve faculty development, encourage mentorship, and increase grant support for students to learn more about how nephrologists conduct research and improve lives of patients.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 12, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Estrogen therapy and kidney stones

Estrogen therapy and kidney stones
Use of estrogen treatment is linked to an increased risk of developing kidney stones in postmenopausal women, as per a report in the October 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Nephrolithiasis [kidney stones] is a common condition that affects 5 percent to 7 percent of postmenopausal women in the United States," as per background information in the article. "Because the process of kidney stone formation is influenced by a variety of lifestyle and other health-related factors, the true impact of estrogen treatment on the risk of kidney stone formation is difficult to infer from findings based on observation."

Using data from the national Women's Health Initiative study, Naim M. Maalouf, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, examined data from two trials: 10,739 postmenopausal women with hysterectomy who received either an estrogen-only therapy or matching placebo and 16,608 postmenopausal women without hysterectomy who received either an estrogen plus progestin therapy or matching placebo. Data were collected for an average of 7.1 years in the estrogen-only trial and 5.6 years for the estrogen plus progestin trial.

A total of 335 cases of kidney stones were published in the active therapy groups, while 284 cases occurred in the placebo groups. The beginning demographic characteristics and risk factors for kidney stones were similar in the two groups, and the authors observed that estrogen treatment was linked to a significant increase in risk of kidney stones. The corresponding annualized incidence rate per 10,000 women per year was 39 in the therapy group and 34 in the placebo group. Development of kidney stones was five times more common in women with a history of kidney stones at the beginning of the study, but was not significantly altered by estrogen treatment. In this trial, estrogen treatment increased the risk of development of kidney stones irrespective of age, ethnicity, body mass index, previous hormone treatment use or use of coffee or thiazide diuretics.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


June 9, 2010, 6:44 AM CT

Income, race link for kidney disease

Income, race link for kidney disease
African Americans with incomes below the poverty line have a significantly higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than higher-income African-Americans or whites of any socioeconomic status, research led by researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging shows. Conducted in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of participants from the city of Baltimore, Md., the study could help scientists eventually develop strategies to prevent CKD in vulnerable populations.

Findings from the study are reported online and appear in the June 2010 print edition of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Scientists have long known that advanced CKD is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites in the United States. Similarly, people of low socioeconomic status also have higher rates of the disease than people of higher socioeconomic status. However, it was unknown whether rates of CKD differ between the races among people of low socioeconomic status.

To investigate, Deidra Crews, M.D., an instructor in the Division of Nephrology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and her colleagues used data from Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Lifespan (HANDLS), a research study that's ongoing conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The HANDLS study was started to investigate the influences and interaction of race and socioeconomic status on the development of health disparities in minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 21, 2010, 7:20 AM CT

Gene may be Key to Kidney Cancer

Gene may be Key to Kidney Cancer
Normal kidney
Scientists at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have discovered a key gene that, when turned off, promotes the development of common kidney cancer. Their findings suggest that a combination of agents now being tested in other cancers may turn the gene back on, providing a much-needed treatment for the difficult-to-treat cancer.

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common kind of kidney cancer, accounts for just 3 percent of all cancers in the United States, but is the sixth leading cause of cancer death. No current therapy has had a measurable effect on the spread of the cancer, oncologists say.

In the May 20, 2010 issue of Oncogene, scientists describe a gene called GATA3 that has been silenced in ccRCC and is a key gene also lost in breast cancer. GATA3 controls a number of genes and proteins that regulate cell growth, and one of them, a receptor known as the type III transforming growth factor-ß receptor (TßRIII), is absent in many cancers.

As per the study's senior investigator, John Copland, Ph.D., a cancer biologist at the Mayo Clinic campus at Florida, these findings will surprise a number of in the cancer field. "Cancer scientists know that GATA3 is essential for immune T cell development and function," he says. "As well, very recent studies show that GATA3 is also critical to breast cancer development, where GATA3 expression is limited to mammary luminal epithelial cells. GATA3 is lost during breast cancer progression and its loss is a strong predictor of poor clinical outcome in luminal breast cancer. GATA3 also plays an important role in renal development and differentiation during embryogenesis, but little is known about the role of GATA3 in the adult human kidney."........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


February 11, 2010, 8:09 AM CT

Silver Nanoparticles

Silver Nanoparticles
UB researcher Esther Takeuchi is tuning new battery materials at the atomic level in order to realize more powerful, longer-lasting implantable biomedical devices.
Diamonds and gold may make some hearts flutter on Valentine's Day, but in a University at Buffalo laboratory, silver nanoparticles are being designed to do just the opposite.

The nanoparticles are part of a new family of materials being created in the laboratory of SUNY Distinguished Professor and Greatbatch Professor of Advanced Power Sources Esther Takeuchi, PhD, who developed the lithium/silver vanadium oxide battery. The battery was a major factor in bringing implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) into production in the late 1980s. ICDs shock the heart into a normal rhythm when it goes into fibrillation.

Twenty years later, with more than 300,000 of these units being implanted every year, the majority of them are powered by the battery system developed and improved by Takeuchi and her team. For that work she has earned more than 140 patents, thought to bemore than any other woman in the United States. Last fall, she was one of four recipients honored in a White House ceremony with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

ICD batteries, in general, now last five to seven years. But she and her husband and co-investigator, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Chemistry Kenneth Takeuchi, PhD, and Amy Marschilok, PhD, UB research assistant professor of chemistry, are exploring even-better battery systems, by fine-tuning bimetallic materials at the atomic level.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 23, 2009, 8:23 AM CT

High blood pressure and kidney disease

High blood pressure and kidney disease
Susan Furth MD, PhD
Susan Furth, M.D., Ph.D.

Spot blood pressure readings in children with chronic kidney disease often fail to detect high blood pressure - even during doctor's office visits - increasing a child's risk for serious heart problems, as per research from Johns Hopkins Children's Center and other institutions. A report of the findings appears online in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology.

Scientists compared blood pressure measurements obtained during regular doctor visits to readings obtained via a special device the children wore at home that automatically recorded their blood pressure every 20 minutes.

Of the 198 children in the study, nearly 40 percent had "masked" hypertension, meaning their blood pressure was normal at the doctor's office, but spiked outside of it.

An even more disturbing finding: Children with masked high blood pressure were four times more likely to have a form of hypertension-related heart damage called left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) than children with normal blood pressure, scientists report. LVH is a common consequence of untreated high blood pressure that results in a thickening of the left chamber of the heart and that over time can lead to heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances.

"Taking blood pressure at the doctor's office clearly misses a number of cases of masked hypertension," says Susan Furth, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric nephrologist at Hopkins Children's and one of the study's principal investigators. "This means children with chronic kidney disease should have their blood pressure taken at home several times a day and regularly reported to their doctors." An overnight monitor, like the one used in the study, that automatically takes a child's blood pressure every 20 minutes is great, but some insurance companies won't pay for it, researchers say.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 19, 2009, 6:10 AM CT

Inner secrets of the bleeding heart

Inner secrets of the bleeding heart
The colored area on this MRI scan shows a cross-section of the heart muscle, with the area of bleeding shown in red.

Credit: Imperial College London

Images that for the first time show bleeding inside the heart after people have suffered a heart attack have been captured by scientists, in a newly released study published recently in the journal Radiology

The research shows that the amount of bleeding can indicate how damaged a person's heart is after a heart attack. The researchers, from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, hope that this kind of imaging will be used alongside other tests to create a fuller picture of a patient's condition and their chances of recovery.

The research was funded by the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health, UK.

People suffer heart attacks when an artery that feeds blood to the heart becomes blocked, stopping the heart's blood supply and depriving the heart muscle of oxygen. Currently, most people treated for a heart attack are fitted with a metal tube called a stent to keep the blocked artery clear.

Recent research has shown that some people experience bleeding inside the heart muscle once blood starts to pump into it again. However, the significance of this bleeding is currently not understood.

For the new small study, the scientists captured images of bleeding inside the heart in 15 patients from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who had recently suffered a heart attack, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Analysis of the MRI scans revealed that the amount of bleeding correlated with how much damage the heart muscle had sustained.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 11, 2008, 9:17 PM CT

Preventing anemia is important to kidney disease

Preventing anemia is important to kidney disease
Maintaining sufficient red blood cell levels is important to the physical and mental health of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), as per a research studyappearing in the January 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The findings indicate that preventing anemia in kidney disease patients should be an integral part of their care.

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agentsmedications that elevate red blood cell levels (hemoglobin)have been a topic of controversy lately, and their use in patients with chronic kidney disease has come into question. Recent studies have shown an increased risk of death, blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks in patients with chronic kidney failure when erythropoiesis-stimulating agents are given at higher than recommended doses. (Current recommendations indicate that therapy should not elevate hemoglobin levels over 12 gm/dl). Other studies have observed a link between the recommended doses of these drugs and an increased risk of death in patients with cancer and an increased risk of blood clots in patients following orthopedic surgery. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration stated that the benefits of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents have not been well documented, especially as they relate to quality of life. These suggestions are disturbing to nephrologists, who think that these drugs have significantly helped their CKD patients.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


September 14, 2008, 10:30 PM CT

Depressed dialysis patients more likely to be hospitalized

Depressed dialysis patients more likely to be hospitalized
Dr. Susan Hedayati, assistant professor of internal medicine, has demonstrated that depressed patients undergoing dialysis are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized or die within a year than those who are not depressed.
Dialysis patients diagnosed with depression are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized or die within a year than those who are not depressed, a.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has found.

In the study, available online and in the Sept. 15 issue of Kidney International, scientists monitored 98 dialysis patients for up to 14 months. More than a quarter of dialysis patients received a psychiatric diagnosis of some form of depression based on a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM IV).

This is the first reported link between adverse clinical outcomes in dialysis patients and depression made through a formal psychiatric interview based on the DSM-IV standards. More than 80 percent of the depressed patients died or were hospitalized, compared with 43 percent of non-depressed patients. Cardiovascular events, which previously have been associated with depression, led to 20 percent of the hospitalizations.

"Twenty percent of patients who start dialysis will die by the end of the first year," said Dr. Susan Hedayati, assistant professor of internal medicine and the study's lead author. "What we don't know yet is, if their depression is treated, could it extend dialysis patients' survival and improve their quality of life".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 23, 2008, 4:51 PM CT

'Statins' linked to improved survival

'Statins' linked to improved survival
For patients receiving kidney transplants, therapy with cholesterol-lowering "statin" drugs may lead to longer survival, reports a study in the November 2008 Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

"Statin treatment is well established for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in the general population, but its effectiveness in patients with kidney disease is unclear," comments Dr. Rainer Oberbauer of the Medical University of Vienna, one of the study authors. "We showed that statin treatment was indeed linked to a lower risk of death in renal transplant recipients."

The study included data on 2,041 patients receiving their first kidney transplant between 1990 and 2003. At the time of transplantation, about 15 percent of the patients were taking statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol levels. Patient survival and survival of the transplanted kidney were compared for patients who were and were not taking statins.

Overall, survival was somewhat better for patients on statin therapy. At 12 years' follow-up, 73 percent of statin-treated patients were alive, in comparison to 64 percent of patients not taking statins.

An important part of the study was the use of sophisticated statistical analyses to adjust for potentially confounding variablesincluding the fact that patients taking statins had more cardiovascular risk factors and pre-existing cardiovascular disease. The results showed a significantly lower risk of death in patients taking statins36 percent lower than in nonusers.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 22, 2008, 10:01 PM CT

More Intensive Dialysis Does Not Improve Outcomes

More Intensive Dialysis Does Not Improve Outcomes
No significant difference in death rates or other outcomes was found between a group of patients with acute kidney injury that received intensive dialysis and another group that received a more standard regimen of dialysis, as per a joint Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reported in the recent issue of the New England Journal (NEJM). Acute kidney injury, also called acute renal failure, is a common complication in hospitalized patients that is linked to very high mortality rates. In-hospital mortality rates of critically-ill patients typically range from 50 percent to 80 percent.

Several previous single-center studies in patients with acute kidney injury had suggested improved survival with more intensive dialysis, which is significantly more costly to administer. "We now have definitive evidence that intensive therapy of acute kidney injury is no more beneficial in improving therapy outcomes than the usual level of care," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "As a result, the findings of this well-designed study may help prevent unnecessary medical expenditures."

Within 60 days after starting dialysis, 302 patients (53.6 percent) in the intensive therapy group died in comparison to 289 patients (51.5 percent) in the less-intensive therapy group. Also, the study reports no significant differences between the two groups in recovery of kidney function, the rate of failure of organs other than kidneys, or the number of patients able to return to their previous living situations.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:57 PM CT

Live kidney donors report high satisfaction rates

Live kidney donors report high satisfaction rates
Live kidney donors suffer minimal health problems and 90 per cent would strongly encourage other people to a become a donor if a partner or family member needed a transplant, as per a research studyof more than 300 people reported in the recent issue of the UK-based urology journal BJU International.

Scientists from Egypt, where live donations are currently the only legal option, carried out detailed evaluations of 339 patients who attended follow-up clinics between January 2002 and January 2007.

Based at a centre which performs about 100 live donor transplants a year, they included patients who had donated kidneys between 1976 and the end of 2001 in their research.

Living donors remain the main option in developing countries where donations from dead donors have yet to establish roots, because of the lack of infrastructure or the implementation of legal criteria for brain death explains lead author Dr Amgad E El-Agroudy from the Urology and Nephrology Center at Mansoura University.

Even in developing countries, the increasing demand for kidneys has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of living donors being used. This had led to concerns about the risk involved in the procedure and its long-term consequences.

All of the people who participated in the study underwent an extensive physical and psychosocial assessment, which included a full range of laboratory tests and detailed medical history. Any medical problems were then compared with health tables for the general population.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


September 12, 2007, 8:01 PM CT

Clinical Trials Present Better Alternatives for Dialysis Patients

Clinical Trials Present Better Alternatives for Dialysis Patients
But an unhealthy kidney costs more-about $16 billion more, as per Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD, associate professor in the division of nephrology and high blood pressure at the University of Cincinnati (UC).

"It costs about $17 billion a year to care for patients with end-stage kidney disease," he said.

There are currently over 320,000 people undergoing hemodialysis in the United States, a process that costs taxpayers a minimum of $60,000 per patient annually,.

Hemodialysis is a technique in which a machine filters wastes out of a patient's blood once the kidney fails.

"In order to perform successful dialysis, it's critical to have a functioning vascular access," Roy-Chaudhury said.

There are two main types of permanent dialysis access: an arteriovenous fistula, which connects the artery and the vein directly, and an arteriovenous graft, which connects the artery and the vein using a plastic tube.

Unfortunately, these connections may only last between six and 12 months due to stenosis, or narrowing of the veins.

As a result, hemodialysis patients often have repeated hospital admissions and surgeries in order to keep their dialysis access open.

In fact, problems linked to vascular access are probably the biggest factors that reduce the quality of life for hemodialysis patients, Roy-Chaudhury said.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


August 24, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Single-incision belly-button surgery to remove kidney

Single-incision belly-button surgery to remove kidney
Using high-dexterity instruments, Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu successfully removed a patient's kidney by performing a unique laproscopic nephrectomy entirely through the belly button.
Surgeons specializing in laparoscopic procedures at UT Southwestern Medical Center have successfully removed a patients kidney by performing a unique nephrectomy entirely through the belly button.

Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, associate professor of urology and radiology, performed the single keyhole access surgery, the first of its kind involving a kidney. The entire procedure was completed with only one incision and will leave the patient with a barely noticeable scar tucked in the umbilicus, or navel.

We are proud of this novel surgical technique, said Dr. Cadeddu, who leads the Clinical Center for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Urologic Cancer. Laparoscopic surgery already gives patients smaller incisions, less pain and a faster recovery. This transumbilical technique is a further extension of laparoscopic surgery, which essentially removes scarring from the patients skin.

Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of urology at UT Southwestern, said, Single-access surgery is the next major advance in making surgery even less invasive. For Dr. Cadeddu to be the first to perform such a surgery and remove the intact organ in this manner is a testament to the tremendous advances in clinical medicine that are being made at UT Southwestern and in our department. Dr. Roehrborn is director of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Center for Pediatric Urology.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


August 3, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Radiofrequency ablation for kidney tumors

Radiofrequency ablation for kidney tumors
A relatively new, minimally invasive therapy was 93 percent successful in eradicating cancerous kidney tumors, as per a recent study conducted by scientists from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

I have performed a number of radiofrequency ablations of renal tumors and the results looked promising, said Ronald J. Zagoria, MD, lead author of the study. I wanted to scientifically review the data to better assess the results and look for patterns that might predict success or complications, he said.

The study consisted of 104 patients with a total of 125 tumors ranging from 0.6 cm to 8.8 cm. In all patients, a biopsy confirmed the presence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer. Of the 125 tumors, 95 were smaller than 3.7 cm and were completely eradicated in one therapy. Fourteen larger tumors were also eradicated after one therapy. Of the 16 remaining larger tumors, seven were eradicated after a second therapy.

Patients who are not good operative candidates, commonly due to co-existing illnesses, and those with multiple renal tumors, now have an excellent option for curing their tumors, said Dr. Zagoria. Surgery should be the first option, since the long-term results of this procedure have not been substantiated, he said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:09 PM CT

A gene that protects from kidney disease

A gene that protects from kidney disease
Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University of Michigan have discovered a gene that protects us against a serious kidney disease. In the current online issue of Nature Genetics they report that mutations in the gene cause nephronopthisis (NPHP) in humans and mice. NPHP is a disease marked by kidney degeneration during childhood that leads to kidney failure requiring organ transplantation. The insights might help develop effective, noninvasive therapies.

The kidneys are the organs that help our body dispose of potentially harmful waste. Diseases that affect this fundamental function are very serious but so far only poorly understood. NPHP is such a disease; it causes the kidneys to degenerate and shrink starting early on in childhood often leading to renal failure before the age of 30. So far, kidney transplantation in early age has been the only way to save patients suffering from NPHP. With a new mouse model Mathias Treier and his group at EMBL have shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying NPHP opening up novel ways to treat the disease.

Our mice show striking similarities with NPHP patients, says Mathias Treier, group leader at EMBL. Very early on in their lives their kidney cells start to die and the mice develop all the characteristic disease symptoms. It is the first time that a mouse model reveals increased cell death as the mechanism underpinning kidney degeneration in NPHP. The genetic cause is a mutation in a gene called GLIS2.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 10, 2007, 8:25 PM CT

pivotal Nexavar kidney cancer study published in NEJM

pivotal Nexavar kidney cancer study published in NEJM
Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the New England Journal of Medicine has published their pivotal Phase III trial demonstrating that Nexavar (sorafenib) tablets doubled median progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), or kidney cancer. The data, as assessed by independent radiologic review, are from the Treatment Approaches in Renal Cancer Global Evaluation Trial (TARGET) – the largest randomized controlled trial ever conducted in advanced RCC.

"Historically, patients with kidney cancer have had limited treatment options and there has been a particularly critical need for new therapies to help patients with advanced disease," said co-principal investigator Ronald Bukowski, M.D., Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program of The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center in Cleveland, OH. "This landmark study demonstrated the efficacy, tolerability and clinical benefit of Nexavar, which has rapidly become a valuable weapon against this devastating disease."

Based on these data, Nexavar was granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC, or kidney cancer, on December 20, 2005. Since then, Nexavar has been approved in nearly 50 countries. ........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 20, 2006, 4:18 AM CT

Link Between Nanoparticles And Kidney Stones

Link Between Nanoparticles And Kidney Stones
Scientists at Mayo Clinic have successfully isolated nanoparticles from human kidney stones in cell cultures and have isolated proteins, RNA and DNA that appear to be linked to nanoparticles. The findings, which appear in the recent issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine, are significant because it is one step closer in solving the mystery of whether nanoparticles are viable living forms that can lead to disease -- in this case, kidney stones.

Kidney stones are linked to pathologic calcification, the process in which organs and blood vessels become clogged with calcium deposits that can damage major organs like the heart and kidneys. What causes calcium deposits to build up is not entirely known. Medical researchers at Mayo Clinic are studying calcification at the molecular level in an effort to determine how this phenomenon occurs.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that links calcification to the presence of nanosized particles, particles so small that some researchers question whether a nanoparticle can live and if so, play a viable role in the development of kidney stones.

The presence of proteins, RNA and DNA does not prove that nanoparticles are viable living forms because a genetic signature has not been identified, says the study's author John Lieske, M.D., a nephrologist with Mayo Clinic. A genetic signature would prove that nanoparticles are indeed living forms that replicate and can cause disease.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


December 9, 2006, 5:45 PM CT

Sutent, One Of The New 'Targeted' Cancer Drugs

Sutent, One Of The New 'Targeted' Cancer Drugs
The new "smart" drugs are a really exciting element of cancer medicine. One of the new molecularly-targeted cancer drugs is Sutent. It is a "multi-targeted kinase inhibitor." A drug that inhibits several proteins involved in triggering replication in cancer cells. Basically, inhibits various kinases, a type of enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from high-energy donor molecules to specific target molecules.

Sutent (sunitinib) is an inhibitor of multiple protein kinases, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR), stem cell factor receptor (KIT), FMS-like tyrosine kinase (Flt3), colony stimulating factor (CSF-1R), and the neurotrophic factor receptor (RET). Because these proteins are involved in both tumor proliferation and angiogenesis, Sutent has both anti-tumor as well as anti-angiogenic properties. In addition, because Sutent inhibits multiple kinases, it possesses activity against multiple types of tumors.

Sutent can be used as a second-line drug for tumors that are non-responsive to Gleevec. The proto-oncogene KIT, a tyrosine kinase that is inhibited by Gleevec, is overexpressed in a majority of GISTs. Some patients have suffered relapses due to acquired point mutations in KIT, which prevents Gleevec from binding to the protein. Similar mutations have been characterized in EGFR from Iressa-resistant lung cancer patients.........

Posted by: Gregory D. Pawelski      Permalink         Source


November 15, 2006, 5:01 AM CT

Obesity An Advantage In Hemodialysis Patients

Obesity An Advantage In Hemodialysis Patients
Despite significant improvements in dialysis therapys, currently over 20% of the 350,000 maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients in the United States die each year. A study published in Hemodialysis International finds that this high mortality rate may be attributed to malnutrition.

MHD patients experience what has been termed the "obesity paradox," wherein obesity is linked to increased chance of survival. "A larger body fat mass as seen in obesity probably represents protective reserves that may mitigate the adverse effects of malnutrition in patients," as per Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh M.D., author of the study.

MHD patients tend to have a high degree of protein-energy malnutrition and inflammation. The combination of these two conditions, termed Kidney Disease Wasting (KDW), leads to increased risk of death. On the other hand, it has been shown that an increase in protein intake yields the greatest survival in patients.

The study suggests that improved diet as well as appetite-stimulating agents may be a way to improve nutrition and, consequently, outcome in MHD patients. Understanding the factors that lead to KDW will be the key to improving survival in MHD patients, as well as in the 20 to 40 million Americans who exhibit similar risk-factor paradoxes such as those with chronic heart failure, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and malignancy.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 7:08 PM CT

Enzyme For Treatment Of Diabetic Kidney Disease

Enzyme For Treatment Of Diabetic Kidney Disease
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine scientists have observed that an enzyme called ACE2 may hold the potential to treat diabetic kidney disease, the most common form of kidney disease.

In the laboratory, scientists led by Daniel Batlle, professor of medicine in the Feinberg School, chief of the nephrology/high blood pressure division and staff nephrologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, have found low levels of the ACE2 enzyme in the glomeruli of the kidneys of diabetic mice. When ACE2 was further decreased with an inhibitor drug, kidney disease worsened. Studies are now needed using compounds that increase the level of ACE2 in the kidneys of diabetic mice to see if it reverses or prevents kidney disease from developing, Batlle said.

The experiments appear in a report by Ye et. al in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Diabetes, which affects 230 million people worldwide and 21 million in the United States, is the leading cause of kidney failure. About one-third of patients with diabetes will go on to develop kidney disease. In diabetes, the small blood vessels in the kidneys are injured and the kidneys cannot clean the blood properly. In 2002, a total of 153,000 people in the U.S. with kidney failure due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 4:49 AM CT

More Hemodialysis May Improve Survival

More Hemodialysis May Improve Survival
A study recently published in Hemodialysis International observed that more frequent hemodialysis therapys (five or more weekly) can significantly increase the survival rate of patients suffering from irreversible kidney failure. Typical therapy in the U.S. generally involves three sessions weekly.

The study examines the mortality rate of 117 U.S. patients. Those receiving five or more therapys per week were shown to have a 61% better chance of survival when in comparison to patients receiving conventional therapy.

"More frequent hemodialysis has been shown to improve patient well-being, reduce symptoms during and between therapys and have beneficial effects on clinical outcomes," as per Christopher R. Blagg M.D., lead researcher of the study.

U.S. hemodialysis patients continue to have a high annual mortality rate, despite a number of improvements in dialysis and overall medical care. Increasing the frequency of dialysis may be an effective means of improving patient survival.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today the launch of a seven-year clinical study that could accelerate research on better pain-controlling therapys for a jaw condition called temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJDs).

Medicineworld.org: Kidney Watch News Blog

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