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18 October 2011
University scientists are set to lead a major new European-wide training and research network designed to improve treatment for patients needing dialysis for kidney failure.
EuTRiPD is a new €3.5M European network of academics, clinicians and medical businesses designed to help meet the gaps in treatment and research into Peritoneal dialysis (PD).
PD is a form of renal replacement therapy (RRT) necessary for the survival of patients prior to kidney transplants or for those long-term patients where a kidney transplant is not possible.
Whilst a successful and effective treatment it remains underutilised across Europe because of a lack of knowledge and experience amongst clinicians and knowledge about the treatment.
EuTRiPD aims to fill that knowledge gap by training a cadre of PD specialist clinicians and researchers who will be able to offer patients a better choice of treatment.
"The incidence of chronic renal disease has doubled over the past decade, with the number of patients expected to increase by some 8 per cent annually, costing billions of euros every year," according to Professor Nick Topley, School of Medicine, who will lead Cardiff’s contribution to the project.
"For many patients peritoneal dialysis is not an option although it has the potential to improve people’s quality of life.
"By bringing expert Centres together from across Europe we hope to provide a training environment that will allow the treatment to become more available for patients. This research will help identify new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to improve patient outcomes and infection prevention," he added.
Leading experts in PD from countries from across Europe including the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland will work together to establish an European network to train the next generation of PD clinicians and scientists.
This network will be linked to leading charities in the field (Kidney Research UK and the Dutch Kidney Foundation), EuroPD a pan European organisation that promotes research and clinical practice in PD and industrial partners (Baxter Healthcare, Abbott and Zytoprotect).
The project is divided into key areas – the training programme will help respond to the immediate need to train clinicians in all aspects of PD and researchers working alongside then translate improvements from the bench to the bedside and back.
Cardiff scientists will lead specific parts of the project including: examining the role of cells to help prevent inflammation; examining how data from three large PD BioBanks containing bio-samples and the genetic background of patients can be utilised to improve our understanding of why the treatment fails in some patients
As well as the research the Cardiff team will also support the training and development of the next generation of clinicians who treat dialysis patients with PD.
Professor Topley adds: "The network will bring together expertise in all areas of training and research. By combining the expertise of all partners in the public and private sectors it means we can combine treatment for patients with much need excellence in research. We hope it will help translate important discoveries made in the laboratory for the benefit of kidney dialysis patients."
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