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An Incredible Year for ISN Research Initiatives

The ISN had an exciting start to research projects in 2020 with the Research Collaborative Meeting and 1ST International Consensus Meeting on Defining Kidney Failure in Clinical Trials that took place from January 31 – February 1 in Vancouver, Canada.

The ISN convened this international, multi-stakeholder meeting to develop consensus on definitions of kidney failure as endpoints in clinical trials. This was a significant step toward the long-term goal to improve the evidence base from which to treat patients with kidney diseases worldwide.

January also saw the launch of two new series focusing on influential research papers to mark ISN’s 60th Anniversary. The Insight newsletter presented Kidney International’s “Milestones in Nephrology” series, highlighting five influential papers on critical topics in nephrology over the last few decades. The Breakthrough discoveries articles, developed by the ISN Research Working Group in collaboration with the ISN Young Nephrologists Committee, presented  60 + 1 globally representative narratives outlining discoveries of significance to the nephrology community.

In February, Kidney International Supplements (KIS) published ISN Papers describing the background, rationale, and action plans for developing a strategic approach to increase access to integrated care of patients with kidney failure worldwide over the next decade

In March, as the world struggled to deal with the novel coronavirus epidemic, ISN President Vivek Jha took the lead on investigating the impact of COVID-19 on kidney health with the paper, “Novel Coronavirus 2019 Epidemic and Kidneys” published in Kidney International. The ISN was quick to develop a COVID-19 section resource library for nephrologists.

In April,  to meet the growing need for clinical trials in nephrology to guide patient-care, the ISN launched the ISN-ACT Clinical Trials Toolkit, an open-access, online resource to assist trial design, study conduct, data management, data analysis, and publication.

In May, the ISN Global Kidney Health Atlas team prepared summary slides of the ISN GKHA 2019 report focusing on each ISN region individually. The ISN invited members to share their region’s results with colleagues and key stakeholders to support discussions on and advocate for kidney health care with relevant national and regional health and education .

The ISN and Kidney International surveyed nephrologists across six continents, representing the ten ISN Regions, to assess the impact of COVID-19 on dialysis patients and staff and health system responses to the pandemic specific to dialysis.

May also saw the launch of the ISN Observatory of CKDu developed by the ISN i3C (International Consortium CKDu Collaborators) Working Group, as part of its Collaboration Plan with the World Health Organization (WHO). The ISN Observatory of CKDu facilitates the exchange of information and knowledge to raise awareness of the urgent issue of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology.

In 2018, Sandra Wagner (France), Angie Aguilar-Gonzalez (Guatemala), and Amarasiri de Silva (Sri Lanka/USA) received ISN-H4KH (Hydration for Kidney Health) Grants for their respective projects. All three recipients had their abstracts accepted for presentation at WCN’20 and, consequently, published in Kidney International Reports.

In July, the ISN-ACT (Advancing Clinical Trials) Committee released a statement urging all investigators and industry partners to include people with kidney diseases in research activities related to COVID-19.

Since the novel coronavirus outbreak in early spring, the ISN’s SharE-RR (SHARing Expertise to support the set-up of Renal Registries) group, led by Fergus Caskey, began working with its global network of registry experts to identify plans to establish COVID-19 surveillance systems and share experiences. The team worked alongside Thomas Hiemstra at the University of Cambridge, to develop a data entry portal to allow anonymized data to be collected on people with kidney disease and COVID-19 infection in countries without infrastructure. The ISN invited nephrologists to register patients affected by COVID-19 on the portal when the initiative, CORONATION, was officially launched in August.

In September, the ISN 0by25 initiative was recognized for academic-scientific merit by the Medical College of Bolivia for Dr. Rolando Claure Del Granado’s research activities and the study “Recognition and management of community-acquired acute kidney injury in low-resource settings: the ISN 0by25 feasibility trial.

In the same month, the 2019 ISN GKHA Survey Results on disparities in kidney care were featured in multiple papers on different WHO UHC domains.

In October 2020, Kidney International published the International Consensus Definitions of Clinical Trial Outcomes for Kidney Failure: 2020.

In November, 44 editions  of the ISN-ACT Global Trials Focus (GTF) – a monthly list summarizing recent interesting trials relevant to kidney disease – were published on the ISN and ISN Academy websites.

The Webinar “New perspectives in the management of CKD in T2D: the emerging role of MRAs” supported by an unrestricted grant from Bayer, also addressing novel therapies, was broadcast in December.

The ISN looks forward to supporting more research initiatives in 2021 in its mission to advance global kidney health.

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