Acute kidney injury common in cancer patients during chemotherapy

Acute kidney injury common in cancer patients during chemotherapy

Montreal (Web Desk): About one in ten cancer patients treated with chemotherapy may be hospitalised for serious kidney injury.


A Canadian 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 hospitalised with serious kidney damage or for dialysis.

This translated into a cumulative acute kidney injury rate of 9.3 per cent, the study found.

People with advanced tumors were 41 per cent 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 hospitalised for a kidney injury, and people with diabetes had a 43 per cent greater chance.

“Patients should be aware that kidney injury can result during cancer treatment - both due to cancer itself and the drugs used to treat it,” said lead study author Dr Abhijat Kitchlu of the University of Toronto.

 “It may be possible to reduce the risk of acute kidney injury by maintaining good hydration and in some cases, avoiding other drugs that can increase risk to the kidneys,” Kitchlu added. Medications that can damage the kidneys include ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain blood pressure medicines, and diuretics. In fact, in the study, older patients taking water pills or certain heart medications were also at higher risk for serious kidney problems.

“Patients should seek early medical attention when concerned about dehydration or infection, as the symptoms related to kidney injury (decreased urine output, swelling, nausea, fatigue or confusion) may only occur after the kidneys have been damaged,” Kitchlu advised.