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Kidney Diseases

Kidney Disease that is treated with Chemo

03/02/2007

Question:

What Kidney disease is treated with Chemo? Plus how come people that are Bipolar can not qualify for a transplant?

Answer:

There are a number of kidney diseases that are treated with chemotherapy agents.  These include kidney disease due to lupus, various types of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), a variety of diseases in the category called "glomerulonephritis" (which causes protein leakage through the kidney into the urine), and some types of kidney cancer.  Some of these diseases respond to agents that have traditionally been used to treat cancer (especially a medication called Cytoxan). 

People with bipolar disorder may qualify for a transplant if their disease is mild and well-controlled.  However, in general people with psychiatric illnesses are carefully screened for transplant because the process of receiving, recovering from, and living with a transplant can be extremely stressful, both physically and emotionally.  So, for their own safety, people with either physical or psychiatric problems are carefully evaluated to determine whether they are able to undergo the potential stresses, and whether the transplant process (especially if the transplant is not successful) might actually do them more harm than good.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University