PRESS RELEASE 26/06/09 - EME Funds First Project
Blood pressure cuff could help improve the success of kidney transplants
The first clinical trial funded by the new Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) programme will investigate whether a simple procedure to activate one of the body’s natural defence mechanisms improves the function of kidneys after transplantation. This research is funded by the Medical Research Council and managed by the National Institute for Health Research.
A team of investigators, from six kidney transplant centres in the UK and one in Holland, will be led by Raymond MacAllister, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at UCL (University College London).
The £800,000 clinical trial will recruit 400 patients requiring kidney transplantation over a three year period. In transplantation, the blood supply to the kidney is interrupted during surgery and the damage that results can limit the life-span and functioning of the transplanted kidney. The trial will examine whether activating a natural protective reflex know as Remote Ischaemic Pre-Conditioning (RIPC), which makes organs resistant to injury that occurs when their blood supply is reduced, has an effect on the outcome of transplantation. RIPC is stimulated by reducing blood flow to the arm of both the kidney donor and recipient for short periods (using a blood pressure cuff). If RIPC protects the kidney, then the transplant should work more effectively and last longer.
Professor MacAllister comments that “kidney transplantation transforms the lives of patients with kidney failure. However, there is a growing shortage of kidneys for transplantation and the number of patients on the transplant list is steadily increasing. The RIPC procedure is simple, safe, easily implemented and inexpensive; should this trial confirm that it improves kidney function, this innovation will be a major benefit to kidney transplant recipients. Maximising the functionality and life-span of the transplanted kidney will optimise the use of this scarce resource, and therefore increase the number of patients who can receive a transplant.”
Professor Rajesh Thakker, Chairman of the EME Board said “this exciting project is the first to be funded by the newly established EME programme. This simple intervention could increase survival rates for patients needing kidneys and may impact across other types of transplantation as well“.
To view the full project details visit the Funded Projects page.
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Notes for editors
- The EME programme funds high quality research which seeks to determine whether a health intervention (e.g. a drug, diagnostic technique or device) works and in some cases how or why it works.
- The EME programme is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and managed by the NIHR on behalf of the MRC-NIHR partnership. It is coordinated by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), based at the University of Southampton.
- The NIHR provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients. www.nihr.ac.uk
- The Medical Research Council is dedicated to improving human health through excellent science. It invests on behalf of the UK taxpayer. Its work ranges from molecular level science to public health research, carried out in universities, hospitals and a network of its own units and institutes. The MRC liaises with the Health Departments, the National Health Service and industry to take account of the public’s needs. The results have led to some of the most significant discoveries in medical science and benefited the health and wealth of millions of people in the UK and around the world. www.mrc.ac.uk
Alex Pordage, Programme Manager (Communications)
Telephone: 023 8059 8516, Email: email the EME programme
Dani Preedy, Senior Programme Manager
Telephone: 023 8059 4303, Email: email the EME programme
The following spokespeople are available:
Professor Raymond MacAllister, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, UCL (Project Lead)
Professor Ian A Cree, Director of NETSCC, EME