Until now, it seemed impossible to treat and reverse chronic kidney disease but a recent study shows that it is possible to rejuvenate damaged kidneys and improve their function. This study was conducted by Professor Benjamin Dekel, head of Pediatric Nephrology at the Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute. It was done at Sheba Medical Center and published this week in the prestigious Cell Reports medical journal.
Past studies had found out that the adult kidney constantly renews itself over time through the activity of colonies of cells that replace lost and degenerated cells in the kidney. Prof. Dekel and his colleagues developed an innovative technology to extract such healthy kidney cells from diseased kidneys and then multiply them into large numbers in a laboratory. The cells show advanced function to produce new kidney tissue and restore lost cells by producing the three-dimensional colonies called “kidney spheres.” The new cells are then reintroduced into the kidney where they are repaired, affecting neighboring cells positively and enhancing their function.
The most important and unique feature of this newly developed technology is that it uses the patient’s own cells thereby circumventing the need for immunosuppression as well as problems associated with immune rejection.
Till now, this tech has been tested on mice, where the cells have demonstrated their ability to create new renal structures, consistent with a long-term retention potential once delivered into the host kidney. The treated mice displayed improved renal function.Such impressive findings will be reviewed by the firm KidneyCure Bio, which has commercialized this technology, in clinical trials on patients with renal failure.
Through focusing on improving and stabilizing renal function, this treatment has the ability to reverse chronic kidney disease and support millions of patients with chronic kidney disease who still need help with dialysis.