Chemotherapy drug linked to serious kidney disease

Avastin (bevacizumab) – one of the most widely-used cancer drugs – can cause serious kidney damage. Cancer patients taking the chemotherapy drug were nearly five times more likely to develop severe proteinuria – which can cause kidney damage – and a nearly eight-times increased risk for nephritic syndrome, which causes protein levels in the blood to fall and cholesterol levels to rise. The findings were based on an analysis of 16 studies, involving 12,268 patients, carried out by researchers from the Stony Brook University Cancer Center in New York. (Source: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2010; doi: 10.1681/ASN.2010020167).