Thursday, December 29, 2016

In the NEWS: Fake Nephrology Conferences and Journals: Have you have been getting these emails?

Recently, few of us have noticed we get emails inviting us to submit to " Journal .... nephrology.. and .." The best one I got one was " New England Journal of Nephrology". In addition, there are apparently these emails inviting you to be presenting at conferences that sound so real but for few of us who have been in academia- know that they are a money making scam.  What is gained from these conferences? 
Series of these conferences are run by OMICS. They are apparently for many different fields in medicine.  When I clicked on the Nephrology section for the journals, I got this ( mostly Non nephrology journals)
When clicked on conferences, you get these 

Now take a look at the locations: Las Vegas, Orlando, Dubai!!
It seems that they are happening for many years. Has anyone gone to these? Based on the NYT article that was recently published, The Federal Trade Commission formally has charged OMICS with deceiving academics and researchers on such publications and fees.

The author in the NYT says nicely at the end and I quote "So it’s not surprising that some academics have chosen to give one another permission to accumulate publication credits on their C.V.’s and spend some of the departmental travel budget on short holidays. Nor is it surprising that some canny operators have now realized that when standards are loose to begin with, there are healthy profits to be made in the gray areas of academe."

Perhaps as a community in Nephrology we need to create a page that lists which of these journals and conferences are FAKE and prevent our colleagues on spending money on these ventures.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lupus Nephritis classification: Does it help us?

I recently went to a talk by Stephen Korbet on Lupus Nephritis and it got me wondering on if the current way of classification of lupus nephritis works or not?

MPGN- old way of classification was EM based but the recent updated IF based classification is very clinical and aids the clinician in treating the disease better as a root cause is identified.

In lupus, the story starts back in 1970s and eventually leading to the WHO classification and then the updated ISN classification. A recent review  published in JASN in 2015 summarizes the history and concerns regarding the classifications. The suggestions to improve are more detailed and pathology related and I am not sure if they will help clinically.

What might help a nephrologist help treat the lupus nephritis patient?

1. Is the lesion Proliferative?- segmental or diffuse- most of us will treat. Only context of not treating will be the IFTA present on the biopsy- so does it matter if its segmental or diffuse? as treatment is either MMF or cyclophosphamide anyway.

2. Is the lesion crescentic? - yes this matters to us-- as most crescentic GN( RPGN) and specifically lupus have been excluded in most trials- so treatment might be leaning towards cytotoxic agents and not standard therapy.

3. Is it a podocytopathy ( would like to include membranous GN in this section)- More and more we are seeing MCD, FSGS with this entity and treatment might be slightly different as some of them respond faster with a steroid based regimen.

4. Is there a second entity with it?- ANCA disease or TMA?- as treatment might then entail pheresis and or a different prognosis.

I think the talk by Korbet hinted towards this but not sure which direction the field will go but it's time that we have a less confusing classification but more meaningful one that helps the nephrologists treat the disease better.

What do others think?

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