Prevalence of renal insufficiency in elderly cancer patients in a tertiary cancer center

<div><p> Objective To estimate the prevalence of abnormal glomerular filtration rate in elderly patients with solid tumors. Methods A retrospective study with patients aged >65 years diagnosed with solid tumors between January 2007 and December 2011 in a cancer center. The following data were collected: sex, age, serum creatinine at the time of diagnosis and type of tumor. Renal function was calculated using abbreviated Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formulae and then staged in accordance with the clinical practice guidelines published by the Working Group of the National Kidney Foundation. Results A total of 666 patients were included and 60% were male. The median age was 74.2 years (range: 65 to 99 years). The most prevalent diagnosis in the study population were colorectal (24%), prostate (20%), breast (16%) and lung cancer (16%). The prevalence of elevated serum creatinine (>1.0mg/dL) was 30%. However, when patients were assessed using abbreviated MDRD formulae, 66% had abnormal renal function, stratified as follows: 45% with stage 2, 18% with stage 3, 3% with stage 4 and 0.3% with stage 5. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge, this was the first study to estimate the frequency of renal insufficiency in elderly cancer patients in Brazil. The prevalence of abnormal renal function among our cohort was high. As suspected, the absolute creatinine level does underestimate renal function impairment and should not be used as predictor of chemotherapy metabolism, excretion and consequent toxicity.</p></div>