Public Event, the Personalized Kidney

Yesterday STELLAR’s coordinator, Ton Rabelink was invited to participate in a public event organised by the Radboud University Medical Centre.

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Topic of this public event was personalized kidneys, with an emphasis on what regenerative medicine could contribute towards alternatives for currently used renal replacement therapies in the near future.

The meeting was presented and moderated by  Astrid Joosten, a Dutch television celebrity. Over 200 patients and professionals attended the event.  Roos Masereeuw presented her work on a biological artificial kidney and Ton Rabelink presented the work currently performed within the STELLAR consortium.

Ton elaborated on the potential use of kidney derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to counteract fibrosis of the kidney.

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The evening was concluded with a lively interactive panel discussion. A number of controversial discussion topics were formulated to which the audience could agree or disagree by displaying a green or red card.

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A panel of experts gave their opinion on these statements which in some cases led to a change in opinion of the audience. The expert panel was a mix of Scientists, Nephrologists, an Ethical expert and the directors of the Dutch Kidney Foundation and the Dutch Kidney Patient Organisation.

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Below some of the statements discussed:

  • Personalized kidneys means that the best quality donor organs (those from young donors) should be used for young patients. Old patients should be given kidneys of lesser quality.
  • The patient should take responsibility for its own health. The introduction of a scoring system to select for kidney organ recipients based on the patient’s lifestyle can be justified.
  • Someone registered as an organ donor should get priority when needing a donor organ over those not registered as organ donors.
  • Expensive treatments such as dialysis and transplantation can in part be avoided through a healthier lifestyle. The government should place restrictions on the amount of salt allowed in food articles.

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