Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Toronto (Oct. 3, 2019) - Dr. York Pei, an award-winning scientist at the University Health Network, has discovered a potential new use for an old drug, providing hope for patients suffering from polycystic kidney disease.
In a pre-clinical trial, Dr. Pei found Salsalate, a drug in the aspirin family, and an approved drug therapy for rheumatism, was successfully used to improve kidney survival and reduced cystic kidney disease severity.
Polycystic Kidney Disease is a major cause of genetic kidney failure and affects thousands of Canadians and millions of people worldwide. One of the main molecules that modify disease progression in PKD is called AMPK-activated protein kinase. AMPK exists in low levels in those suffering from PKD so Dr. Pei decided to study known AMPK activators to see if the combination would have a positive synergistic effect. What he found was surprising.
"Salsalate as well as Metformin and Canagliflozin, two diabetes drugs, were tested because all three are AMPK activators," says Dr. Pei. "We found only the Salsalate was effective on its own and most importantly at levels that are achievable in humans."
Salsalate is a prodrug that gives rise to salicylic molecules, it is like aspirin but without certain adverse side effects. Traditionally Salsalate is used to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
"We used a moderately aggressive model that we believe provides the foundation for an eventual clinical trial," says Dr. Pei. "We'll test this in additional models but the good news is, it's safe and relatively inexpensive."
The study was partly funded by the PKD Foundation of Canada and through a grant provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada's federal funding agency for health research.
The study was published in EBioMedicine, an online journal published by The Lancet.
Dr. Pei is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Staff Nephrologist at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, where he currently directs the Hereditary Kidney Disease Clinic.
University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. University Health Network has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Phone: 416 340 4636