Prevalence of Renal Insufficiency in cancer patients and implications for anticancer drug management: the renal insufficiency and anticancer medications (IRMA) study

Cancer. 2007 Sep 15;110(6):1376-84. doi: 10.1002/cncr.22904.


Background: The Renal Insufficiency and Cancer Medications (IRMA) study is a French national observational study. The results from this study of nearly 5,000 patients demonstrated the high prevalence of renal impairment in a population of patients with solid tumors.

Methods: Every cancer patient who presented at oncology departments that participated in the study over at least 1 of 2 predefined periods during 2004 were included. Renal function was calculated using Cockcroft-Gault and abbreviated Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (aMDRD) formulae to estimate the prevalence of renal insufficiency (RI) according to the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative-Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes definition and stratification. Anticancer drugs were studied with regard to their potential renal toxicity and dosage adjustment.

Results: Of the 4,684 patients from the 15 centers, 7.2% had serum creatinine levels >110 micromol/L. However, when they were assessed using Cockcroft-Gault and aMDRD formulae, 57.4% and 52.9% of patients had abnormal renal function or RI, respectively. Of the 7,181 anticancer drug prescriptions, 53.4% required dose adjustments for RI. Of the patients treated, 79.9% received at least 1 such drug. And 80.1% received potentially nephrotoxic drugs.

Conclusions: RI was common in patients with cancer, and drug dosage adjustments often were necessary. Renal function should be evaluated in all cancer patients using either the Cockcroft-Gault formula or the aMDRD formula, including patients with normal serum creatinine levels. In patients who are at high risk for drug toxicity, the dosage should be adapted to renal function, and the use of nephrotoxic therapies should be avoided whenever possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency / chemically induced
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Creatinine