Dr Chris Barton, Dr Louise Oni (Watson), Dr Dan Hawcutt, Dr Caroline Jones, Professor Barry Pizer, Karen Selwood (Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner) and Oncology Research Nurses Sue Hemsworth and Erica Hincks based (Department of Paediatric Oncology, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital) in collaboration with the laboratory of Professor Munir Pirmohamed (Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine/Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool) are conducting research into chemotherapy related kidney damage in children with cancer.
Chemotherapeutic agents are often associated with significant but well characterised toxicities, with a constant clinical and research focus on minimising their impact on patients. Cisplatin, ifosfamide and Methotrexate are established anti-cancer drugs used in children with both solid and haematological cancers, by themselves or in combination. All three drugs are associated with kidney injury, which can be acute or chronic, reversible or irreversible. Regardless, kidney injury can affect their quality of life whilst on treatment, but also necessitate a reduction or change in treatment with implications for prognosis and survival.
With a research grant from MKF to support assays and researcher costs, we are conducting a research study to collect both blood and urine samples to develop tests that could identify kidney injury earlier than those already in use in the clinical environment. We are also conducting early genetic work to identify why some children may be more susceptible to kidney injury from anticancer drugs than others.