From bench to bedside: how research changes lives
There is no known cure for kidney disease. Every year, more than 60,000 people in the UK are treated for kidney failure.
For people with kidney failure the only way to stay alive is through unremitting dialysis or a kidney transplant. Even then, life expectancy on dialysis is reduced and kidney transplants rarely last beyond 10-15 years. For some people, sadly, the waiting list for transplantation is too long.
Research holds the key
At any one moment, we are funding as many as 140 pioneering research projects. Every one of these projects is looking for new and better ways to diagnose and treat kidney disease.
People who suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs) deal with a great deal of pain and discomfort. One in three women get a UTI in their lifetime and almost a third of these will have recurrent infections throughout their life. At the worst, people with UTIs are at risk of their kidneys being damaged, even kidney failure, which could mean a lifetime on dialysis unless a kidney transplant becomes available.
Dr Rachel Floyd has been working on UTIs since 2013 with the help of a three-year Fellowship from Kidney Research UK. The funding has continued to help support her team’s research project which looks at why some UTIs, often caused by E.coli, can become resistant to antibiotics.
‘The research has the potential to tackle our approach to everyday UTIs, improve conditions for long-term sufferers of UTIs and vitally reduce the likelihood of these causing serious kidney damage,” says Rachel. “I am hoping this work will have a huge impact.”
Researchers, like Dr Rachel Floyd work around the clock at the laboratory bench, looking for the bold new ideas that will revolutionise the treatment of kidney disease.
Rachel tells us how she's making a difference to kidney disease:
Translating to the bedside
Major scientific breakthroughs begin in the lab. But that's just the beginning of the story.
Once a ground-breaking idea has been developed, it needs to be turned into a technique or process that can begin to help kidney patients as soon as possible.
Clinical trials refine the treatment and then it can be brought directly to the bedside of people who really need it. Researchers like Rachel can bring new treatments and change people's lives.
"Without people donating to Kidney Research UK, vital research wouldn't happen. We wouldn't be able to help anyone." Dr Rachel Floyd
Due to a simple lack of funds, we still have to turn away around half of the research proposals we are presented with. Any one of these could potentially lead to a lifesaving medical breakthrough.
Our life-saving research is only possible with your support.