What is there was a way to rejuvenate the kidneys so that there was no need for dialysis? That is exactly what researchers from Sheba Medical Center have been working on, with recent insights published in the journal Cell Reports. The researchers demonstrated that it is possible to rejuvenate the kidneys and improve their function using the patient’s own stem cells.

Background

As reported in Xinhua Net, it was previously established that an adult kidney can renew itself over time via the activity of colonies of cells that function to replace lost and degenerated cells in the kidney. This groundbreaking study was led by Professor Benjamin Dekel, head of Pediatric Nephrology and the Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute in the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Has homer in Israel.

Study

In this present study, it was reported that the Israeli-based team developed a novel technology enabling the extraction of such healthy kidney cells from diseased kidneys. By expanding into large numbers within a laboratory environment, these cells demonstrate the ability to show improved function to generate new kidney tissue and actually replace lost cells. The researchers reported that the cells were administered into the kidney, allowing them to rebuild the organ—and positively influence adjacent cells while also improving kidney function. The problem of immune rejection is circumvented because these new developed technologies is based on the patient’s own cells.

Study Lead Comment

Professor Dekel noted, “The breakthrough in this technology, which was developed at Sheba Medical Center, is not only in the ability to maintain the kidney renewing cells outside the body, but also in the fact that we are able to multiply them to generate large numbers of cells and make them work properly using the 3D cultures. This is important news for patients with chronic kidney disease, which hopefully could benefit from these discoveries in following years. The ability to generate new kidney tissue that could replace the damaged tissue might help millions of patients worldwide who suffer from kidney disease.”

A Collaborative Effort

The groundbreaking research involved a number of collaborators, including Senior Researchers Dr. Orit Harari-Steinberg, Dr. Dorit Omer and Ms. Yehudit Gnatek from the Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute under the leadership of Professor Dekel, reported Business Insider.

Other collaborators included Dr. Zohar Dotan, Head of Uro-Oncology Service from the Urology Department, Sheba Medical Center; Dr. Tomer Kalisky and co-workers, Bar Ilan University and Professor Yaron Fuchs and co-workers, The Technion.

Moving Forward

The Sheba Medical Center team seeks to move the research to the clinical development stage. This means that they will apply to study the technology in human patients with renal failure.

Lead Research/Investigator

Professor Benjamin Dekel, head of Pediatric Nephrology and the Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute in the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba Medical Center

Call to Action: This research, while early days, appears disruptive. Imagine if, via the patient’s own stem cell, a kidney could be rejuvenated and the need for dialysis became a thing of the past? Huge potential. TrialSite News will monitor this group in Israel.

Source: Xinhua Net

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