Study show cancer chemotherapy can lead to serious kidney damage


(Reuters Health) - - Nearly one in 10 cancer patients treated with chemotherapy or newer targeted drugs may be hospitalized for serious kidney injury, a Canadian study suggests.

The study involved roughly 163,000 patients who started chemotherapy or targeted therapies for a new cancer diagnosis in Ontario from 2007 to 2014. Overall, 10,880 were hospitalized with serious kidney damage or for dialysis.

People with advanced tumors were 41 percent more likely to have acute kidney injuries than patients with early-stage cancer.

Compared to the group as a whole, individuals who already had chronic kidney disease were 80 percent more likely to be hospitalized for a kidney injury, and people with diabetes had a 43 percent greater chance.

Many medicines that treat tumors are removed from the body by the kidneys and can damage certain cells within the kidneys, said lead study author Dr. Abhijat Kitchlu of the University of Toronto by email.

Patients at high risk for kidney damage should discuss alternative drugs or doses with their physicians to see if they can treat tumors in a way that minimizes their chance of kidney injury, advised Dr. Laura Cosmai of San Carlo Borromeo Hospital in Milan, Italy.

And all patients should be on the alert for potential warning signs of kidney problems like dehydration, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, Cosmai, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

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