New research project will help young people understand their risk of kidney damage

Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC) is proud to have funded its first two research projects to help young people with cancer.

One of these brand-new projects will be looking at kidney disease in teenagers and young adults with cancer.

Many of the treatment used in teenage and young adult cancer may result in long-term side effects, including kidney disease.  Doctors already know a lot about kidney disease in people without cancer. However, this understanding doesn’t always apply to teenagers and young adults with cancer because of the differences in their bodies before, during and after cancer treatment.

Dr Nicola Hughes from the University of Leeds wants to change this with her new project, titled ‘Teenage and young adult cancer treatment and the risk of kidney disease’.

The researchers will begin by analysing data from the NHS to understand how at risk of kidney disease young people with cancer are, and find out what factors affect that risk, such as their cancer type or what treatment they had.

Dr Hughes will use this information to find out the best time to monitor teenagers and young adults at risk of kidney disease and to create information to help young people make informed treatment decisions and take control of their future health.

Dr Hughes, who has been researching cancer in young people for five years, said:

As a research team we have used existing health data to look at the impact of treatment on late effects and survival outcomes but have never before focused on the impact on the kidneys.

“Looking at the existing data, we found that kidney damage was common in teenage and young adult patients. This shows a clear unmet need to provide support for young patients at risk of kidney damage.

“This will empower them to take control of their own methods of risk modification - for example, through diet and exercise.”

Sarah Evans, Research Manager said:

“It is so important to fund research that specifically focuses on teenage and young adult cancers, as they are a unique patient group. We are very excited to have funded the first research projects from TYAC.

“This project is a great example of how teenage and young adult specific cancer research can help change a young person’s experience of cancer through information tailor-made for them.”

Dr Hughes added:

“We feel really honoured to have been awarded this funding and can’t wait to get started. 

“We’re very grateful for all of the fundraising that has made this project happen and we are looking forward to sharing our findings with TYAC’s supporters.”

Read more about this project here