The increasing number of patients on chronic hemodialysis is a great problem in the field of nephrology in Japan and Western countries. Current therapies for chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) can retard the progression of renal failure, but cannot completely stop their progression to endstage renal failure (ESRD). Many researchers are now studying new therapeutic targets for CKDs, by various methods. Furthermore, because organ donation for kidney transplantation is very limited in Japan, research on kidney regeneration is an important issue for the therapy of ESRD. To regenerate the kidney, stem cells and growth factors for the kidney are being extensively studied, although the clinical application of the results of these studies has not yet taken place.
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