Korean Study Shows Risk for Kidney Failure with Multiple Myeloma

A new study has identified several types of cancer that were significantly associated with kidney failure among Korean patients, including multiple myeloma (MM).

“Several studies have reported an increased risk of cancer in dialysis and kidney transplant populations compared to the general population,” study researchers wrote. “The link between cancer and the risk of developing kidney failure with replacement therapy (KFRT) has not been well-defined.”

The retrospective study looked at almost 2.5 million people with or without cancer registered in the Korean National Health Insurance Service database. Each patient with cancer (n=824,365) was matched with two controls. The researchers assessed the risk for KFRT in patients with different types of cancer.

During study follow-up, 4,188 participants with cancer and 4,534 without cancer developed KFRT.

Overall, risk for KFRT was more than twice as high in patients with cancer than in non-cancer control patients (incidence rates of 1.07 vs. 0.51 cases per 1,000 person-years). After adjusting for other potential predictors, the risk for KFRT was still increased in patients with cancer (adjusted hazard ratio=2.29; 95% CI, 2.20-2.39).

MM was associated with the highest risk for KFRT compared with other cancer types [aHR=18.97; 95% CI, 14.31-25.15). This is despite the low incidence of MM in Korea, the researchers noted. This was followed by leukemia, lymphoma, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, and liver cancer.

“Our results corroborate with those of previous studies, that suggest that multiple myeloma is the most common malignancy leading to KFRT,” they wrote.

“The presence of kidney failure has significant influence on the treatment options available to the cancer patients, including certain chemotherapeutic agents, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and surgery, and affects overall cancer-related survival,” the researchers concluded. “Therefore, it is crucial for nephrologists and oncologists to be aware of the risk of KFRT in cancer patients to develop better preventive strategies.”