Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is one of the most common genetic disorders, affecting one in every 1,000 people and responsible for up to ten percent of patients on dialysis worldwide.
The disease is characterized by the development of cysts that lead to progressive kidney failure and necessitate dialysis or a kidney transplant in most patients aged around fifty. Moreover, the persistent cyst growth causes high blood pressure and painful complications. Although we have known about the disease for over a century and its genetic basis for almost 20 years, there was no effective treatment until now.
Kidneys stopped growing
“Our study highlights a potential treatment that reduces kidney growth and the associated symptoms and slows the decline in kidney function,” explains Professor Olivier Devuyst from the Institute of Physiology at the University of Zurich – one of the chief researchers in the phase-three clinical trial just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Over 1,400 patients were given tolvaptan over a three-year period at 129 centers worldwide. The drug is a selective V2 vasopressin receptor antagonist that lessens the effect of the antidiuretic (urine-concentrating) vasopressin hormone and increases urination.
The researchers studied whether tolvaptan slows the progression of the kidney disease by slowing the cyst growth. “The study achieved its goal,” explains Professor Devuyst. In patients who received tolvaptan for three years instead of the placebo, the entire kidney volume decreased with fewer complications resulting from the disease, the pain eased off and the decline in kidney function was slowed. Adverse events such as increased urination and thirst as well as increased liver enzymes and blood sodium level were apparent.
15-year research project
The study is the culmination of 15 years of research done by several research groups including that of Olivier Devuyst. They began by examining transport mechanisms in cells that coat the cysts and, in particular, identified the pathway of the V2 vasopressin receptor as a potential trigger for cystic kidney disease. The demonstration that blocking this receptor slows the disease and improves the kidney function in various animal models provided the rationale for the intervention study with tolvaptan.Literature:
The study was conducted in collaboration with the clinical research of the ADPKD at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Physiology and the Clinic for Nephrology at University Hospital Zurich (PD Dr. Andreas Serra and Professor Rudolf Wüthrich). The research team at the Clinic for Nephrology looks after one of the largest groups of ADPKD patients in Europe in close collaboration with SwissPKD (Schweizer Gesellschaft polyzystischer Nierenerkrankung) (www.SwissPKD.ch).
Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses