The Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group's goal is to translate research to the clinical setting, bringing new discoveries from the bench to the bedside to improve patient care.

Translating kidney disease research into new treatments

The group is focused on evaluating new therapies for glomerular disease by conducting clinical trials on autoimmune diseases of the kidney, such as glomerulonephritis, vasculitis and systemic lupus. The group's clinical trials page provides information about specific studies, including participant eligibility, study enrollment status and contact information for each trial.

An example of the Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group's outstanding translational research is the Membranous Nephropathy Trial of Rituximab (MENTOR) study, results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2019.

Researchers knew that abnormalities in B cells play a role in the pathogenesis of membranous nephropathy, the leading cause of nephrotic syndrome in white adults. In a randomized, multicenter trial conducted at 22 sites in North America, the group tested how using the drug rituximab to deplete B cell levels compared to treatment with cyclosporine for reducing high levels of protein in patients' urine (proteinuria) and keeping levels low.

The group's results showed that rituximab is not inferior to cyclosporine in inducing complete or partial remission of proteinuria for 12 months and is superior in maintaining proteinuria remission up to 24 months in patients with apparent primary membranous nephropathy. These findings provide patients with an additional treatment option that may offer prolonged benefits, higher quality of remission, better preservation of kidney function and lower incidence of relapse.

Read the New England Journal of Medicine article summary and find a full-text link on PubMed.

Kidney Disease Biobank

In addition to its interventional clinical trials, the Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group is developing the Kidney Disease Biobank, a critical, high-priority need as the group accelerates its evidence-based approach to kidney disease research and widens its footprint in clinical trials, advanced diagnostics and novel treatments.

The biobank project will impact several areas of discovery team science and translational research. It will launch many transformative and long-lasting clinical impacts over the coming decades, including:

  • Collection and analysis of an initial cohort of new biospecimens from patients with newly diagnosed or entrenched kidney disease
  • Integration of patient data and samples from existing disease-oriented biobanks
  • Acceleration of patient-focused research to develop early diagnostic tools and targeted treatments that are responsive to an individualized understanding of disease in each patient