Glomerular diseases and cancer: evaluation of underlying malignancy

A. Pani, Camillo Porta, Laura Cosmai, Patrizia Melis, Matteo Floris, D. Piras, Maurizio Gallieni, Mitchell Rosner, Claudio Ponticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Onconephrology is an emerging medical subspecialty focused on the numerous interconnections between cancer and kidney diseases. Patient with malignancies commonly experience kidney problems including acute kidney injury, tumor lysis syndrome, fluid and electrolyte disorders and chronic kidney disease, often as a consequence of the anti-cancer treatment. Conversely, a number of glomerulopathies, tubulopathies and vascular renal diseases can early signal the presence of an underlying cancer. Furthermore, the administration of immunosuppressive drugs, especially cytotoxic drugs and calcineurin inhibitors, may strongly impair the immune response increasing the risk of cancer. The objective of this review article is to: (i) discuss paraneoplastic glomerular disease, (ii) review cancer as an adverse effect of immunosuppressive agents used to treat glomerulopathies, and (iii) in the absence of international approved guidelines, propose a screening program based on expert opinion aimed at guiding nephrologists to early detect malignancies during their clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • Glomerular diseases
  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Membranous nephropathy
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Onconephrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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