Critical evaluation of cancer risks in glomerular disease

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Translational Oncology


The increased cancer incidence in patients with glomerular disease can be secondary to an intrinsic immune dysfunction associated with the disease or/and extrinsic factors, especially immunosuppressants. The treatment for paraneoplastic glomerulopathy is different from primary glomerular disease. Immunosuppressive therapy often used for primary glomerulopathy may aggravate concomitant cancers in patients with paraneoplastic glomerulopathy. In membranous nephropathy (MN), measurement of serum circulating autoantibodies against podocyte transmembrane glycoprotein M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) and thrombospondin type 1 domain-containing 7A (THSD7A), immunohistochemical staining of kidney tissue for glomerular PLA2R, THSD7A, neural epidermal growth factor-like 1 protein (NELL-1) and specific types of immunoglobulin G (IgG) may be useful adjuncts when screening for underlying malignancies. This review addresses overall cancer risks in individuals with glomerular diseases and employment of biomarkers available for MN. We propose a scheme of screening of cancers frequently reported in the setting of glomerular disease.

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