Colorado State University enrolling cats with chronic kidney disease for stem cell trial

Colorado State University is looking for cats with renal disease to participate in the only stem cell study in the United States focused on the indication.

The university said in a news release that it is undertaking the new round of trials based on promising results from previous clinical trials in which stem cells appeared to slow disease progression in cats with earlier-stage chronic kidney disease. Stem cells have the potential to improve overall kidney function even when organs are damaged by scarring caused by disease, the university reported.

Jessica Quimby, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, said that the earlier data gave her research team hope that the treatment can also help cats with more advanced renal disease.

"Up until now, we've focused on cats with early stages of the disease with the hope of slowing disease progression," Quimby said. "We noticed that cats with worse stages in those studies were actually doing really well. We can't ignore the possibility that stem cells could help those cats, too."

According to the university, cats enrolled in the clinical trial will receive three injections of stem cells taken from the adipose of young, healthy donor cats. The injections will occur two weeks apart, and will be slowly injected intravenously via an intravenous catheter. Hospital staff will conduct blood and urine tests immediately before the first injection, during each visit, and again two weeks and one month after the final injection, the university said.

A grant from Frankie's Fund for Feline Stem Cell Research will cover costs associated with preparing the stem cells as well as all costs of visits, lab work, and injections. 

According to the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, cats that qualify for the study:

  • Have been diagnosed with chronic stable kidney disease (creatinine > 5.0 mg/dL), without evidence of hereditary kidney disease, based on blood work and ultrasound evaluation.
  • Have a current lab work panel (CBC, chemistry, urinalysis, urine culture, thyroid level, and blood pressure and evaluation of the kidneys by ultrasound.
  • Have a cardiac ultrasound if a heart murmur is present to rule out significant heart disease.
  • Do not have some concurrent diseases such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, or heart disease.

Learn more

To enroll or find information, visit the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital website or call Quimby at 970-297-5000.

NEWStat Advancements & research News