3 February 2021

How do people with reduced immunity, especially kidney patients, react to a COVID-19 vaccination? And how can patients with peripheral arterial disease be helped by DNA testing? Two different studies at the Radboudumc will try to find answers to these two questions. These studies are made possible by ZonMw.

COVID-19 vaccination in people with impaired immune system

Researchers Renate van der Molen, theme Inflammatory diseases and Dimitri Diavatopoulos, theme Infectious diseases and global health and Marije Baas and Luuk Hilbrands, both theme Renal disorders are going to collaborate with all the Dutch umc's to study the safety and efficacy of the corona vaccine for people with impaired immune system. ZonMw has made a sum of 3.2 million euros available for this. The study in which the Radboudumc participates, the RECOVAC study (led by UMC Groningen), looks at kidney patients. For them, COVID-19 is extra dangerous and an effective and safe vaccine is of great importance. Vaccine developers' clinical trials have almost never not included patients with severe renal failure and transplant patients. Therefore, two issues are now being investigated. Firstly, the immune system response and the clinical course after vaccination in patients with severe kidney damage (kidney function less than 30 percent), in dialysis patients and in kidney transplant patients. In addition, the long-term efficacy and side effects of the vaccines in a group of dialysis and kidney transplant patients will be investigated.

Better prescription of blood thinners based on DNA research in patients with peripheral arterial vascular disease

Physician-researchers and PhD candidates Loes Willems and Josephine Kranendonk will initiate the GENPAD study together with vascular and transplant surgeon Michiel Warlé, also principal investigator. For the GENPAD study, they have received a grant of 600K euros from ZonMw. The GENPAD study is a study into better prescription of blood thinners on the basis of DNA research in patients with peripheral arterial disease (arteriosclerosis of the legs). Peripheral arterial vascular disease increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. To prevent these complications as much as possible, patients are routinely prescribed a blood thinner, the drug Clopidogrel. In patients with certain DNA changes, Clopidogrel works less well. The GENPAD study will see whether patients suffer fewer complications if the treatment with the blood thinner is adapted to the results of the patient's DNA test. Should this treatment lead to better results, the study will also look at whether this method is cost-effective. This will possibly lead to changes in the current guidelines.


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