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Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01209000
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : September 24, 2010
Last Update Posted : February 1, 2023
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
The NephCure Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Matthias Kretzler, University of Michigan

Brief Summary:

Minimal change disease (MCD), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and Membranous nephropathy (MN), generate an enormous individual and societal financial burden, accounting for approximately 12% of prevalent end stage renal disease (ESRD) cases (2005) at an annual cost in the US of more than $3 billion. However, the clinical classification of these diseases is widely believed to be inadequate by the scientific community. Given the poor understanding of MCD/FSGS and MN biology, it is not surprising that the available therapies are imperfect. The therapies lack a clear biological basis, and as many families have experienced, they are often not beneficial, and in fact may be significantly toxic. Given these observations, it is essential that research be conducted that address these serious obstacles to effectively caring for patients.

In response to a request for applications by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Rare Diseases (NIH, ORD) for the creation of Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortia, a number of affiliated universities joined together with The NephCure Foundation the NIDDK, the ORDR, and the University of Michigan in collaboration towards the establishment of a Nephrotic Syndrome (NS) Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortium.

Through this consortium the investigators hope to understand the fundamental biology of these rare diseases and aim to bank long-term observational data and corresponding biological specimens for researchers to access and further enrich.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Minimal Change Disease (MCD) Membranous Nephropathy Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental Procedure: Kidney Biopsy

Detailed Description:

Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome (NS) is a rare disease syndrome responsible for approximately 12% of all causes of end-stage kidney disease (ESRD) and up to 20% of ESRD in children. Treatment strategies for Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), Minimal Change Disease (MCD) and Membranous Nephropathy (MN), the major causes of NS, include high dose prolonged steroid therapy, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine A, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and other immunosuppressive agents, which all carry significant side effects. Failure to obtain remission using the current treatment approaches frequently results in progression to ESRD with its associated costs, morbidities, and mortality. In the North American Pediatric Renal Trials and Collaborative Studies (NAPRTCS) registry, half of the pediatric patients with Steroid Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome required renal replacement therapy within two years of being enrolled in the disease registry. FSGS also has a high recurrence rate following kidney transplantation (30-40%) and is the most common recurrent disease leading to allograft loss.

The prevailing classification of Nephrotic Syndrome categorizes patients into FSGS, MCD, and MN, if in the absence of other underlying causes, glomerular histology shows a specific histological pattern. This classification does not adequately predict the heterogeneous natural history of patients with FSGS, MCD, and MN. Major advances in understanding the pathogenesis of FSGS and MCD have come over the last ten years from the identification of several mutated genes responsible for causing Steroid Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome (SRNS) presenting with FSGS or MCD histopathology in humans and model organisms. These functionally distinct genetic disorders can present with indistinguishable FSGS lesions on histology confirming the presence of heterogeneous pathogenic mechanisms under the current histological diagnoses.

The limited understanding of FSGS, MCD, and MN biology in humans has necessitated a descriptive classification system in which heterogeneous disorders are grouped together. This invariably consigns these heterogeneous patients to the same therapeutic approaches, which use blunt immunosuppressive drugs that lack a clear biological basis, are often not beneficial, and are complicated by significant toxicity. The foregoing shortcomings make a strong case that concerted and innovative investigational strategies combining basic science, translational, and clinical methods should be employed to study FSGS, MCD, and MN. It is for these reasons that the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network is established to conduct clinical and translational research in patients with FSGS/MCD and MN.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 1200 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network Under the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network
Study Start Date : April 2010
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 30, 2024
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 30, 2024

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
FSGS/MCD Cohort (Cohort A)

Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis/Minimal Change Disease (FSGS/MCD) Cohort

Participants enrolled in NEPTUNE with a biopsy proven histological diagnosis for FSGS or MCD.

Eligible participants must be scheduled for a clinically indicated renal biopsy.

Procedure: Kidney Biopsy
Patients scheduled to undergo a clinically indicated kidney biopsy will be requested to consent to an additional renal core, to be set aside until all clinical care is complete.

MN Cohort (Cohort A)

Membranous Nephropathy (MN) Cohort

Participants enrolled in NEPTUNE with a biopsy proven histological diagnosis for MN.

Eligible participants must be scheduled for a clinically indicated renal biopsy.

Procedure: Kidney Biopsy
Patients scheduled to undergo a clinically indicated kidney biopsy will be requested to consent to an additional renal core, to be set aside until all clinical care is complete.

Other glomerulopathies cohort

Participants enrolled in NEPTUNE and determined to not have FSGS/MCD or MN will be followed in a third group.

Eligible participants must be scheduled for a clinically indicated renal biopsy.

Procedure: Kidney Biopsy
Patients scheduled to undergo a clinically indicated kidney biopsy will be requested to consent to an additional renal core, to be set aside until all clinical care is complete.

cNEPTUNE (Cohort B)
Participants < 19 years of age, with < 30 days exposure to immunosuppression therapy who are not scheduled for renal biopsy.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Event rate of change in urinary protein excretion and renal function. [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Defined as remission, partial remission and non-remission

  2. Rate of change in renal function. [ Time Frame: 60 months ]

    Defined as:

    1. 25 mls/min/1.73m2 reduction in follow-up estimated GFR (using the 4-variable MDRD equation for ages ≥18 years and modified Schwartz for ages <18 years) compared to baseline estimated GFR
    2. 50% decline in follow-up estimated GFR compared to baseline measurement
    3. End stage renal disease defined as estimated GFR ≤10cc/min, initiation of maintenance dialysis or preemptive kidney transplantation.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Quality of Life: [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Patient-reported outcome will be assessed using Quality of Life questionnaires at regular intervals as stipulated in the visit calendar using the SF-36, PedsQL and the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) (in the age-appropriate groups).

  2. Malignancies [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Any cancer diagnosis of the skin, hematopoietic system, or solid organ after enrollment in NEPTUNE

  3. Infections, Serious and Systemic [ Time Frame: 60 months ]

    Infections including one of the following:

    1. Documented diagnosis of infection of the skin or subcutaneous tissue (e.g. cellulitis), vascular system, peritoneum, or any vital organ requiring the use of parenteral antibiotics and/or oral antibiotics alone or in combination for a treatment interval of ≥72 hours.
    2. Hospitalization for treatment of infection

  4. Thromboembolic Events [ Time Frame: 60 months ]

    Documented diagnosis of one of the following:

    1. Embolic cerebrovascular accident
    2. Deep venous thrombosis
    3. Renal vein thrombosis or
    4. Pulmonary embolus

  5. Hospitalization [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Documented hospital admission, including observation for ≥24 hours.

  6. Emergency Department/ Observation Unit Visit [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Documented visit to an emergency department or observation unit that does not lead to hospitalization and is less than 24 hours.

  7. Acute Kidney Injury [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    Documented diagnosis of acute kidney injury as defined by the AKIN (Mehta et al., Critical Care 2007, 11:R31) and/or renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy <3 months.

  8. Death [ Time Frame: 60 months ]
    1. Documentation of death that is secondary to infection or sepsis.
    2. Cardiovascular/Cerebrovascular-related Death: Sudden death; Myocardial infarction; Congestive heart failure; Primary intractable serious arrhythmia; Peripheral vascular disease; Ischemic cerebrovascular accident; Hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident; Thromboembolic event
    3. Documentation of death secondary to cancer
    4. Other Death: Documentation of death that does not fall into the above categories.

  9. New Onset Diabetes [ Time Frame: 60 months ]

    Diagnosis of diabetes as indicated by 1 or more of the following not present at NEPTUNE Enrollment:

    1. Documented diagnosis of diabetes in medical record
    2. Casual (non-fasting) blood glucose > 200 mg/dL c) Fasting blood glucose > 126 mg/dL d) 2 hour glucose > 200 after oral glucose tolerance test e) chronic use (>6 mos) hypoglycemic therapy outside of pregnancy f) Hemogloblin A1C >= 6.5%

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Renal tissue core (from clinically indicated kidney biopsy procedure) Blood products Urine products DNA/RNA specimens (declining consent does not forego participant eligibility)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 80 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Patients with signs and symptoms of kidney disease consistent with FSGS, MCD, MN or proteinuric renal disease or pediatric participants not previously biopsied, who present for patient care at participating clinical centers will be eligible for Cohort A (biopsy cohort) study population targeted for enrollment into the NEPTUNE study.

To establish a cohort of pediatric participants with incident nephrotic syndrome, Cohort B, a non-biopsy cohort has been initiated for Protocol V4.0. This population, <19 years of age, presenting for nephrotic syndrome and less than 30 days of immunosuppression therapy exposure, will also be targeted for enrollment into the cNEPTUNE study.

Potential participants willing to receive their initial care and subsequent follow-up study visits at one of these sites are welcome to participate.


Cohort A (biopsy cohort) Inclusion Criteria:

Patients presenting with an incipient clinical diagnosis for FSGS/MCD or MN or pediatric participants not previously biopsied, with a clinical diagnosis for FSGS/MCD or MN meeting the following inclusion criteria:

  • Documented urinary protein excretion ≥1500 mg/24 hours or spot protein: creatinine ratio equivalent at the time of diagnosis or within 3 months of the screening/eligibility visit.
  • Scheduled renal biopsy

Cohort B (non-biopsy, cNEPTUNE) Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age <19 years of age
  • Initial presentation with <30 days immunosuppression therapy
  • Proteinuria/nephrotic

    • UA>2+ and edema OR
    • UA>2+ and serum albumin <3 OR
    • UPC > 2g/g and serum albumin <3

Exclusion Criteria (Cohort A&B):

  • Prior solid organ transplant
  • A clinical diagnosis of glomerulopathy without diagnostic renal biopsy
  • Clinical, serological or histological evidence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as defined by the ARA criteria. Patients with membranous in combination with SLE will be excluded because this entity is well defined within the International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society categories of lupus nephritis, and frequently overlaps with other classification categories of SLE nephritis (68)
  • Clinical or histological evidence of other renal diseases (Alport, Nail Patella, Diabetic Nephropathy, IgA-nephritis, monoclonal gammopathy (multiple myelomas), genito-urinary malformations with vesico-urethral reflux or renal dysplasia)
  • Known systemic disease diagnosis at time of enrollment with a life expectancy less than 6 months
  • Unwillingness or inability to give a comprehensive informed consent
  • Unwillingness to comply with study procedures and visit schedule
  • Institutionalized individuals (e.g., prisoners)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01209000

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Contact: Chrysta C. Lienczewski, BS 734-615-5021 NEPTUNE-Study@umich.edu
Contact: Amanda Williams, BS 734-615-5017 NEPTUNE-Study@umich.edu

Show Show 44 study locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Michigan
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
The NephCure Foundation
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Principal Investigator: Matthias Kretzler, MD University of Michigan
Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):

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Responsible Party: Matthias Kretzler, Professor, University of Michigan
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01209000    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT01240564
Other Study ID Numbers: 6801
1U54DK083912 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: September 24, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 1, 2023
Last Verified: January 2023
Keywords provided by Matthias Kretzler, University of Michigan:
Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
Focal & Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
Minimal change disease
Membranous Nephropathy
Nephrotic Syndrome
Neph Syndrome
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Kidney Diseases
Nephrotic Syndrome
Glomerulonephritis, Membranous
Nephrosis, Lipoid
Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental
Pathologic Processes
Urologic Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases