- Kidney failure is a frequent and common complication in cancer patients.
- Scientists have found neutrophils to be a promising target for treating kidney failure in cancer patients.
- Inhibiting the enzyme GSK484 could be effective in preventing the formation of NETs in the mouse and human neutrophils in test tubes.
In more than 50% of the cancer patients, kidney dysfunction is turning out to be a common complication that has been directly linked to poor survival. However, the reason behind kidney failure in cancer patients is still unknown.
A research team from the Uppsala University has found kidney dysfunction to be mainly caused by the patient's own immune system which activates the tumor.
The research study has been published in the journal Oncoimmunology.
How Neutrophils Play A Role
Neutrophil cells are a type of white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system to protect against infections.
Cancerous tumors may trick the neutrophils to become activated even in the absence of infections, and as a result, this would lead to the progression of the disease and tissue damage.
Anna-Karin Olsson, researcher at the Departmental of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University, said, "We have previously demonstrated that neutrophils form so called neutrophil extracellular traps, NETs, in the vasculature of mice with cancer, which cause impaired blood flow and inflammation in organs such as kidneys. Our new findings show that this leads to decreased kidney function in mice with cancer."
The kidney damage in mice was found to resemble the damage that was observed in humans. This suggested Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) to be the cause of the kidney dysfunction in humans also.
Restoring Kidney Function in Cancer Patients
The research study revealed treatment that could restore the kidney function in mice with cancer.
Neutrophils require an enzyme called peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) to form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) which cause kidney dysfunction. Therefore, inhibiting the enzyme PAD4 could remove the NETs and restore the kidney functions.
Although, previous studies show inhibitor (GSK484) to be effective in preventing the formation of NETs in the mouse and human neutrophils in test tubes.
This research study is one of its kind to depict the potential of GSK484 inhibitor to prevent the kidney damage in mice with cancer.
Jessica Cedervall, researcher at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University, said, "We believe that these findings can lead to novel treatment options to prevent kidney damage and improve survival rates in cancer patients."
Renal Failure in Cancer Patients
Kidney failure is a common complication in cancer patients. Acute renal failure has potential dangers in allowing the patients to receive optimal treatment.
Some of the risk factors for kidney injury in cancer patients include
- Old age
- Chronic kidney disease
- Exposure to nephrotoxins
- Obstruction in physiology
- Acute renal failure in cancer patients. - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15902843)
- Acute Kidney Injury in the Cancer Patient - (http://www.ackdjournal.org/article/S1548-5595%2813%2900123-7/abstract)