New clinical trials promise hope to sufferers of kidney diseases

ASN Kidney Week was held in Chicago last week and results from clinical trials related to various kidney diseases were presented to the delegates. Some of the papers presented offer real hope to kidney disease sufferers and potential treatments for clinicians.


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The Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes trial focussed on 9,340 type 2 diabetes sufferers who were randomly given either liraglutide (a glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue) or a placebo. The results were correlated over the next four years and revealed a 21 per cent fall in the risk of death from kidney disease in the patients using liraglutide. The conclusion is that liraglutide impacted on the progression of diabetic nephropathy in patients.

Liraglutide and renal outcomes in type 2 diabetes

The trial looked at kidney function after transplantation in 406 pairs of living donors and recipients, using remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC). The results saw a 13 per cent improvement in kidney function, which had a sustained, long-term effect for five years after transplant. The trial’s authors are recommending that RIPC becomes a routine part of care in such situations. By reducing blood flow in donors and patients before surgery, internal organs become resistant to low blood flow post-transplant.

Successful treatment of active lupus nephritis with voclosporin

The effect of voclosporin on remission rates for lupus nephritis are very promising, with voclosporin performing much better than a placebo in both high and low doses. The side effects showed consistency with raised immunosuppression. The results are likely to lead to more studies and trials of the effects of voclosporin on active lupus nephritis, with clinical staffing solutions providers such as likely to see an increased demand for their services.

Rabbit antithymocyte globulin instead of basiliximab

The study looked at 615 transplant patients who were randomly assigned a basiliximab induction with mycophenolate mofetil, low dose tacrolimus, and steroid maintenance therapy (arm A); rapid corticosteroid withdrawal on day eight (arm B); or rapid corticosteroid withdrawal on day eight after rabbit antithymocyte globulin (ATG) rather than basiliximab (arm C). The levels of rejection across all groups were similar and the rabbit ATG did not prove a better solution to basiliximab. The researchers did conclude, however, that there are still some advantages to rapid steroid withdrawal in post-transplantation diabetes mellitus incidence.