The European Commission has granted over € 6.4 million from the Horizon 2020 research program to a consortium of researchers, doctors and dialysis providers. The UMC Utrecht will lead this Consortium. The aim of the trial is to address the hypothesis that hemodiafiltration is superior to the standard hemodialysis in its effects on cardiovascular disease, mortality and on patient’s perspectives.
The consortium will do a prospective randomized clinical trial with 1800 patients in about 60 centers in multiple European countries. “There is already some indication that hemodiafiltration, which is allowed by regulatory authorities since about 10 years and is applied to a limited extent all over Europe, could be better not only in its effects on cardiovascular disease, but also on how the patient feels”, indicates Peter Blankestijn, who chairs the consortium. “We now aim to establish a definite answer on the question whether the therapy is better than the present day standard or not. “
Globally, hemodialysis is the most commonly used kidney replacement therapy. Patients are treated three times per week in sessions of four hours. Annually, about 10-12 % of all hemodialysis patients die, mainly of cardiovascular disease. A recent meta-analysis of four earlier but smaller trials suggests that the annual mortality risk may substantially reduce when patients are on hemodiafiltration.
Peter Blankestijn continues: “Being on dialysis has an enormous impact on the quality of life. Many patients complain of fatigue and a lack of energy. Previous studies have focused on the question whether hemodialfiltration could reduce the risk of dying or being hospitalized. Our study will be one of the largest trials ever done in this field. Not only will we address the so-called clinical ‘endpoints’, risk of death or getting hospitalized, but also the patients perspectives. When indeed our hypothesis turns out to be correct, hemodiafiltration will replace hemodialysis as the new global standard.”
European grant
Horizon 2020 is the EU program for research and innovation. The program offers opportunities for organizations that are active in research, technological development and innovation. Apart from the departments of Nephrology and the Julius Center of the UMC Utrecht, also Julius Clinical, University College London, the University of Oxford and Berlin (Charité Universitätsmedizin) and three globally operating dialysis providers (Fresenius, BBraun and Diaverum) will participate in this project. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 754803