Dr. Bryce Barr

The Manitoba Glomerular Diseases Registry and Biobank

Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a group of kidney diseases caused by the immune system that affect individuals at a younger age compared to other kidney diseases. GN affects millions of people worldwide, and in Canada, it’s the second leading cause of kidney failure.

For people with GN, treatment aimed at preventing kidney failure involves the use of medicines that lower the immune system.  These medicines have serious side effects, including the development of severe infections and cancers. Currently, doctors do not have a good understanding of which patients can benefit from more or less treatment, potentially leading to harmful over-treatment in some individuals and under-treatment in others.

By examining data from large groups of patients, we can better understand the factors that can cause some people to be more likely to reach kidney failure, as well as gain a better understanding of medication side effects and who can best benefit from treatment.

The goal of this project is to create and maintain a registry containing information from all patients with GN in Manitoba, which will improve our understanding of who gets GN and, their characteristics, including who progresses to kidney failure. Further, we will collect a blood and urine sample from each new patient undergoing a kidney biopsy. This will help identify new blood and urine tests which can tell doctors whether the patient needs more or less treatment.

This project will improve our ability to identify patients earlier in their disease and individualize treatment, reducing kidney failure risk while also reducing side effects, thus improving the care and quality of life for patients with GN.