Researchers Discover Way to Reduce Inflammation During Dialysis

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A new article in Nephrology News & Issues (NNI) discusses how researches in Pennsylvania have found a way to avoid systemic inflammation common in dialysis patients.  Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, injury or irritant.  Researches discuss how the polymers used in dialysis fluid activates the body’s immune system, resulting in inflammation.

Lead author John Lambris, PhD, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues have developed a drug that suppresses the immune system’s response to the dialysis fluid, reducing inflammation.

Some are worried that the drug may be dangerous because of the frequency it would be taken.  Dialysis patients often receive dialysis treatment 2-3 times a week, activating the immune system response each time.   But researches say the drug is only temporary and doesn’t affect the long term response complement. “It’s not a lasting inhibition. You start hemodialysis, you give the compound, and you inhibit during hemodialysis. After the procedure, the complement system quickly regains its full activity,” said Lambris.

When asked if the drug would be tested on animals study co-author Daniel Ricklin said, “Technical challenges make it almost impossible to perform these studies in mice or other small animals in a clinically relevant context, so you have to go to another animal model.”

Lambris and Ricklin are the inventors of patents and/or patent applications that describe the use of complement inhibitors for therapeutic purposes. Lambris is the founder of Amyndas Pharmaceuticals, which is developing complement inhibitors for clinical applications.

For the full NNI article click here.