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Children could benefit from Trust-led research once again

Children with chronic kidney disease could soon benefit from the results of an international clinical study led by a consultant from the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. The research study looked at children with kidney disease associated with the presence of protein in the urine– and how well a drug called Losartan treated this problem. The study was led by Dr Nick Webb, Deputy Director of the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria Medicines for Children Research Network (GMLC) and Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at the Trust, and was carried out in 50 centres in 19 different countries. Dr Webb said: “Whilst proteinuria does not cause any symptoms for the child, if untreated it can lead to worsening of kidney function and may accelerate damage to the blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke in later life.” This pivotal study has shown for the first time that Losartan can significantly lower urine protein levels in children with a very low rate of side-effects. The results have recently been published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, a major international medical journal. A further study is currently investigating whether treatment with Losartan helps prevent deterioration of kidney function in the longer term. Dr Webb added: “Losartan is already used to treat adults with chronic kidney disease, but there have been no previous studies to show that it is a safe and suitable treatment for children. Many drugs given to children in hospitals are not tested in children and teenagers, so this trial is vital in helping provide doctors with better information on how to prescribe and use Losartan to treat these groups.” GMLC is part of the NIHR Medicines for Children Research Network (www.mcrn.org.uk) and is funded by the Department of Health to help develop safe and effective medicines and formulations for children. GMLC is based at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and supports research in children across the region. Visit www.mcrn-org.uk for more information.