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Target Oncol. 2009 Apr;4(2):121-33. doi: 10.1007/s11523-009-0109-x. Epub 2009 May 6.

Renal toxicity of targeted therapies.

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National Cancer Institute, Medical Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The use of molecular targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer has increased over the last decade. The benefits of these compounds in terms of efficacy are often relatively modest and counter balanced by the occurrence of significant toxicities. Many of these newer agents used in clinical practice lack specificity and selectivity and have a propensity to inhibit multiple targets. The biological consequences of multi-kinase activity are poorly defined and numerous class-specific toxicities have been described. The kidney is an organ where most of these targeted pathways are expressed. Preclinical data and human renal biopsies have generated an understanding of the mechanisms involved in how targeted agents can cause renal toxicity. This review article discusses the observed nephrotoxicity with this burgeoning class of therapeutics and reviews both the biological reasons for its occurrence and possible ways to prevent significant renal damage.

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