Colorado State University veterinarians explore stem-cell therapy for cats with severe kidney disease
A veterinary school program pioneering stem-cell therapy to treat feline kidney disease has launched a new clinical trial to explore stem cells’ ability to improve organ function.
“It’s something that more cats will have to deal with over any other disease, and we don’t know enough about it,” Jessica Quimby, DVM, DACVIM, PhD, the Colorado State University veterinarian leading the trial, says in a university release.
For the new clinical trial, researchers seek cat patients with renal disease—stable, stage 4 chronic kidney disease. Cats with concurrent diseases are not eligible.
In previous clinical trials, a few cats with more advanced stages of disease showed little disease progression years after treatment. The studies’ findings encouraged CSU researchers to focus on the disease’s later stages.
Stem cells cannot repair the irreversible kidney scarring prominent in later stages of the disease. CSU researchers hope stem cells will improve overall kidney function, even with damaged organs.
Stem cells are anti-inflammatory and promote vascular health, improving blood flow. The cells are harvested from the fat of healthy donor cats, which are not harmed by the collection.
Patients in the clinical trial will receive three stem-cell injections, each two weeks apart. Veterinarians will run a variety of diagnostic tests before, during and after treatment to determine the treatments’ effect.
Many costs for participation in the clinical trial are covered through Frankie’s Fund for Feline Stem Cell Research—a fund named for a Seal Point Siamese cat that helped CSU researchers to pioneer stem-cell treatment for chronic kidney disease in 2009.
For more information and to enroll, visit http://col.st/uaunI.