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Side Effect: Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)

What is Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)?

Renal dysfunction refers to a decrease in kidney function, which can be caused by various factors such as medications, dehydration, infections, or diseases like cancer.
Kidney injury is a term used to describe damage to the kidney tissues that may be caused by similar factors.

What does Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction) look like?

The symptoms of kidney injury can vary depending on the severity and the underlying cause. Some common symptoms include:

Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)

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Who gets Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)?

The kidneys play an important role in the body. They help to rid the body if certain medications as well as specific drugs that are used to treat cancer by causing these molecules to be excreted in the urine.

Sometimes drugs have off-target effects, and can harm the cells in your kidneys, or the ureters (the tubes that connect your kidneys to your bladder), or bladder.
When a treatment is harmful to the kidneys, it is referred to as being “nephrotoxic.” Whether or not a drug will cause kidney damage depends upon the type of drug, the dose of the drug, other medications being taken, and existing kidney health.

Patients with cancer may also have tumor-related complications or kidney injury due to radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy drugs that are known to be nephrotoxic include:

How to prevent Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)

How to treat Kidney Injury (Renal Dysfunction)


1. Braet P, Sartò GVR, Pirovano M, et al. Treatment of acute kidney injury in cancer patients. Clin Kidney J. 2021 Dec 24;15(5):873-884.

2. Salahudeen AK, Doshi SM, Pawar T, et al. Incidence rate, clinical correlates, and outcomes of AKI in patients admitted to a comprehensive cancer center. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Mar;8(3):347-54.

3. Rosner MH, Perazella MA. Acute kidney injury in the patient with cancer. Kidney Res Clin Pract. 2019 Sep 30;38(3):295-308.

4. Humphreys, Benjamin D.*; Soiffer, Robert J.†; Magee, Colm C.*. Renal Failure Associated with Cancer and Its Treatment: An Update. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 16(1):p 151-161.

5. Gupta S, Short SAP, Sise ME ICPi-AKI Consortium Investigators, et al. Acute kidney injury in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2021;9:e003467.

Created: March 15, 2024 Updated: March 15, 2024