Acute Kidney Injury in Cancer Patients

Maurizio Gallieni, Laura Cosmai, Camillo Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Renal complications are a relevant clinical issue in patients with cancer; conversely, cancer in patients affected by kidney diseases is a growing problem mainly due to the aging of the general population. Onco-Nephrology is a novel subspecialty addressing these issues. Summary: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients, and recognizes a number of different causes, which can impact, directly and indirectly, on kidney function. Furthermore, the appearance of AKI may have a tremendously negative impact on oncological treatments, often denying cancer patients active and life-prolonging treatments. Overall, patients with cancer are at risk of AKI, which could be caused by antineoplastic treatments, sepsis, metabolic disturbances, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, primary thrombotic micro-angiopathies, and direct involvement of the kidney by hematological malignancies and also by solid cancer, in particular kidney and urothelial malignancies. Key Messages: (1) AKI is a frequent and increasing complication of cancer. (2) There is a bidirectional relationship between cancer and kidney disease, and in both cases, AKI is more likely to happen. (3) AKI in patients with cancer is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. (4) In cancer patients, a multidisciplinary approach and early intervention may reduce the incidence of AKI and its life-threatening consequences. (5) Onco-Nephrology is a growing area of nephrology that requires clinicians to have a better understanding of the renal complications of cancer including AKI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalContributions to Nephrology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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