September 2018

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Clinical Research Corner

Volunteers Needed for Kidney Disease Study

Do you have minimal change disease (MCD), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSG), or membranous nephropathy (MN)? If so, you may be eligible to enlist in an NIH study to help scientists learn more about these kidney diseases. With a better understanding of the diseases, the researchers hope to gain insight into more effective treatment strategies.

Kidneys are the organs in the body that work to remove waste and extra fluid from the blood. They filter the blood, allowing helpful nutrients and proteins to stay in the body. Nephrotic syndrome is a rare set of symptoms that shows the kidneys are damaged. MCD, FSG, and MN are the main causes of nephrotic syndrome.

Current treatment plans for MCD, FSG, and MN tend to focus on slowing their progressions and reducing symptoms. However, these are complex diseases that are not well understood. That makes them hard to treat. The therapies used now often don’t work and sometimes come with harmful side effects.

Scientists are aiming to enroll about 1,200 volunteers with nephrotic syndrome in a clinical study called the NEPTUNE study. Participants can go to 30 U.S. locations or 5 Canadian locations to receive patient care. As the patients go through treatment, the researchers will take samples of their tissue, blood, and urine. These will be examined to explore the diseases in detail and learn how each case is best treated.