Research brings new hope of renal recovery for cancer patients

April 22, 2011

( -- A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham has identified a 21 day treatment threshold to facilitate renal recovery and significantly improve survival rates of myeloma or Kahler's disease; a cancer of the bone marrow.

Led by Dr Colin Hutchison from the School of Immunity and Infection at the University of Birmingham, the research published today (21 April) in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology shows that chances of survival are strongly linked to recovery of , a common side-effect of the disease.

The second most widespread cancer of the blood, is responsible for approximately two per cent of all cancer-related deaths and causes to grow uncontrollably. This can lead to myeloma kidney, a cause of fatal renal failure, as blockages form in the kidneys due to unmanageable quantities of Free Light Chain (FLC) proteins produced by the myeloma. Survival is strongly associated with early reduction of FLCs to reverse the kidney damage, which can be achieved by effective chemotherapy.

39 patients with myeloma kidney were monitored at the University Hospital Birmingham and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester in the United States of America as part of this research. They each received a combination treatment of direct removal of FLCs and chemotherapy in an attempt to determine whether there is a target threshold by which FLCs should be reduced to facilitate renal recovery.

Dr Hutchison explains:

“The management of patients with multiple myeloma and is rapidly changing. This research shows that the relationship between reduction in FLC concentrations and renal recovery is a linear one; there is no absolute threshold by which FLCs must be reduced, however FLC reduction at day 21 was the most significant predictor of renal recovery and chances of survival are significantly improved if there is early recovery of renal function.

“To enable 80 per cent of the population to recover renal function, a reduction of 60 per cent in FLCs was required by day 21 and the odds of recovery for patients with a reduction greater than 50 per cent was more than seven fold that for patients with a reduction less than 50 per cent, with the risk of death nearly three times lower in those with recovered renal function.”

This research was partly supported by a grant from the British Renal Society and determines early reduction of FLCs as critical to patient survival. Novel chemotherapy agents, such as bortezomib, were identified as favourable treatments because they have an earlier and greater rate of myeloma response.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study reveals breast cancer cells recycle their own ammonia waste as fuel

October 19, 2017
Breast cancer cells recycle ammonia, a waste byproduct of cell metabolism, and use it as a source of nitrogen to fuel tumor growth, report scientists from Harvard Medical School in the journal Science.

US regulators approve 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer

October 19, 2017
U.S. regulators on Wednesday approved a second gene therapy for a blood cancer, a one-time, custom-made treatment for aggressive lymphoma in adults.

New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancer

October 18, 2017
Melanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from ...

Drug yields high response rates for lung cancer patients with harsh mutation

October 18, 2017
A targeted therapy resurrected by the Moon Shots Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has produced unprecedented response rates among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that carries ...

Possible new immune therapy target in lung cancer

October 18, 2017
A study from Bern University Hospital in collaboration with the University of Bern shows that so-called perivascular-like cells from lung tumors behave abnormally. They not only inadequately support vascular structures, but ...

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.