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New study into childhood kidney disorder receives NIHR funding

Dr Nick Webb, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Director of the National Institute for Health Research / Wellcome Trust Children's Clinical Research Facility has been awarded a grant of £823, 370 from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme.

Dr Nick Webb

The study, known as PREDNOS 2, is jointly sponsored by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham. The aim is to ascertain whether giving children with relapsing steroid sensitive nephritic syndrome (SSNS) a short course of prednisolone at the time of development of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) prevents them from developing a relapse.

The majority of children with SSNS, which affects 1 in 25,000 children in the UK, suffer frequent disease relapses which require treatment with a course of high dose prednisolone therapy. This may be associated with significant adverse effects, including reduction in growth and abnormal behaviour. It is know that many relapses appear to be precipitated by episodes of URTI.

The study will involve 300 children in around 100 centres nationally, who will be randomised to receive a six day course of daily prednisolone or placebo each time they develop an URTI over a 12 month period.

Dr Webb, Chief Investigator for the study explained: "As well as determining whether this reduces the rate of relapse, the study will also closely monitor prednisolone adverse effects, including behaviour and a formal health economic analysis will also be performed."

"Genetic substudies performed in collaboration with UCL, Kings College London and University of Bristol will aim to identify an underlying genetic cause for the disease using genome wide association study, total exome sequencing and other techniques."

This study follows on from the PREDNOS study. To date, a total of 84 patients have been randomised with approaching 120 centres participating - making it one of the largest paediatric studies running nationally in terms of number of centres.