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Bridget M. Kuehn

In a procedure designed to closely mimic a human-to-human kidney transplant, Jayme Locke, MD, MPH, director of the Division of Transplantation at The University of Alabama, Birmingham, and her colleagues tested the safety and feasibility of transplanting a genetically engineered pig kidney into a human patient with a non-functioning brain.

The results were reported in January 2022 and showed that the genetically modified pig kidneys did not trigger a hyper-rejection reaction, could support human blood pressure, and could produce urine (1). The procedure was one of a string of recent attempts to test the potential of using pig

Chronic kidney disease is a serious public health issue that affects 37,000,000 Americans and disproportionately affects communities of color.

Beyond educational circles, jobs, and friends, ASN’s Mentor Match Program creates a low stake, no-pressure environment with a diverse pool of people willing to build meaningful relationships.

Screening, education, care coordination and telehealth, and affordability are all important for improving equitable care for patients with chronic kidney disease to slow the progression to kidney failure.

Susan E. Quaggin

Built on innovation, nephrology is a specialty of many firsts: from developing organ replacement therapies to advocating successfully for government support of lifesaving dialysis to removing race from a commonly used clinical algorithm. If asked in 2019, I would have declared nephrology the epitome of visionary leadership: determined to solve the most complex medical and social justice issues globally and inspired by a passion for patients.

Today, I view things somewhat differently. During the past 2 years, our specialty has demonstrated some of the most effective crisis leadership in medicine. When this column publishes, we may be past the worst

Renal cell and non-renal cell carcinomas associated with von Hippel−Lindau (VHL) disease show evidence of response to the hypoxia-inducible factor inhibitor belzutifan, reports a study in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The phase 2, open-label trial included 61 adults with VHL disease, with diagnosis based on the presence of germ- line VHL alterations and at least one renal cell carcinoma measuring at least 10 mm. All patients were treated with belzutifan, a novel oral hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF-2α) inhibitor, at a dose of 120 mg/day. Complete or partial objective responses were assessed by an independent radiology review

A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine achieves protective antibody levels in nearly 40% of kidney transplant recipients without a previous immune response, reports a study in JAMA Internal Medicine (1).

The single-center, single-blind randomized trial included 201 kidney transplant recipients who did not develop SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibodies after two doses of the mRNA vaccine. Patients were assigned to either a heterologous vaccination strategy using an Ad26COVS1 viral vector vaccine or a homologous strategy with a third dose of an mRNA vaccine, either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273. The main endpoint was seroconversion to detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 spike

Stephen J. Thomas

This article has been updated to include the following Correction:

The February Kidney News article “A Call to Action for Physicians: Become Informed and Empowered, and Begin to Heal Thyself” includes the statement, “The RUC [American Medical Association (AMA) Relative Value Update Committee] is a group of 32 physicians and other health care professionals who advise CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] on how to value various medical services. The advice of the RUC is nearly always accepted by CMS, yet nephrology is not currently represented on the committee.”

In reality, nephrology has access to the RUC,

Jamie S. Hirsch

“There's something special about chlorthalidone.”

–Rajiv Agarwal, MD, as heard on “Freely Filtered”

The nephrology community was abuzz at ASN Kidney Week 2021 as Rajiv Agarwal presented the results of the Chlorthalidone in Chronic Kidney Disease (CLICK) trial, with simultaneous publication in The New England Journal of Medicine (1).

In an attempt to refute the dogma that thiazide-like diuretics lose effectiveness at low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (2), the CLICK trial enrolled 160 patients with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD; eGFR 15 to >30 mL/min/1.73 m2) and uncontrolled hypertension—defined as a mean

Timothy O’Brien

For patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), early dialysis initiation—at an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 15–16 mL/min/1.73 m2—leads to modest reductions in mortality and cardiovascular events, reports a study in The BMJ (1).

“However, to reach the maximum survival benefit, patients would need to start dialysis up to 4 years earlier,” comments lead author Edouard Fu, PhD, a research fellow at the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

The conclusions are consistent with the sole previous randomized trial of dialysis initiation times—and support