Scientists from USC Stem Cell’s McMahon Lab have generated simple kidney-like structures called organoids and are using them to identify potential drugs to treat adult-onset polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). By doing so, the researchers hope to accelerate the development of new treatments for ADPKD that would halt disease progression — rather than merely slowing it — and expand the effectiveness of treatment to more subsets of cysts . Their findings have been published in Cell Stem Cell.

Polycystic kidney disease affects 8 million patients worldwide, causing large fluid-filled cysts in many regions of the kidney that lead to the loss of kidney function and other life-threatening complications affecting the liver, pancreas, and heart.

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