A frequent complication for cancer treatments is kidney dysfunction. Kidney issues affect more than 50 percent of cancer patients. Kidney dysfunction is related to cancer mortality rates.
Recent research suggests that kidney dysfunction is caused by the patient’s own immune system. The research indicates that neutrophils (or a blood cell type) are a promising target for future therapies to treat kidney problems.
The cancer tumor tricks neutrophils to become activated even in the absence of infection and contribute to disease and tissue damage. Prior research indicated that neutrophils form what is called NETS (neutrophil extracellular traps) during cancer and these NETS impair blood flow and cause inflammation in organs – like kidneys. This new research shows how the NETS lead to decreased kidney function.
Promisingly, the research showed that kidney function could be restored by targeting a specific enzyme the blood cells use to form NETs. The targeting disrupts the ability of neutrophils to form NETS.
The researchers are hopeful that these findings will lead to new and improved treatments to prevent or treat kidney dysfunction in cancer patients. As a result, survival rates should improve.
This is good news for many of Louisiana Disability Law’s clients who suffer with or from cancer. We are hopeful that medical researchers are able to develop treatments to help our clients and others suffering from cancer induced kidney dysfunction.
For more information, please review the study in the journal Oncoimmunology.