Onconephrology: Intersecting Pathways of Oncology and Nephrology for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Renal Health Optimization

Author(s): Ming Zerr

Onconephrology is an emerging medical subspecialty that focuses on the intricate relationship between cancer and kidney health. This field represents the intersection of oncology and nephrology, recognizing the coexistence of cancer and kidney disease and aiming to provide comprehensive care for cancer patients with renal complications. This article explores the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic challenges, and treatment strategies in onconephrology. The multidisciplinary approach required for optimal patient outcomes is emphasized, highlighting the collaboration between oncologists and nephrologists. By understanding the interplay between cancer and kidney function, onconephrology aims to optimize comprehensive cancer care while ensuring renal health preservation. The epidemiology of onconephrology reflects the diverse landscape of cancer types and the multifactorial nature of kidney-related disorders. Certain malignancies, such as renal cell carcinoma, multiple myeloma, and hematological cancers, exhibit a higher propensity for renal involvement. Additionally, several risk factors, including advanced age, pre-existing kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, and specific genetic predispositions, contribute to the development of onconephrology conditions. Understanding the epidemiological factors associated with these conditions can aid in early identification, prevention, and tailored treatment strategies. The pathophysiology of onconephrology conditions encompasses a range of mechanisms that lead to kidney injury in cancer patients. Tumors may directly invade the kidneys, causing structural damage and functional impairment. Paraneoplastic syndromes can also affect renal function through immune-mediated processes or the release of soluble factors. Additionally, certain cancer treatments, such as nephrotoxic chemotherapeutic agents, can induce renal toxicity and exacerbate pre-existing kidney diseases. Comprehending these underlying mechanisms is crucial for accurate diagnosis and targeted therapeutic interventions.