Avoiding side effects of cancer drugs

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Scientists from EARA member the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, have found a way to prevent kidney damage during the use of life-saving drugs.

In collaboration with biotech company, Tissue Dynamics, they used a kidney-specific tissue-on-a-chip to mimic the human body environment and track the tissue’s response to drugs in real time.

Drugs used in chemotherapy to treat cancer - such as cyclosporin and cisplatin - can cause kidney toxicity, but are considered life-saving therapies.

Their findings, published in the Science Translational Medicine, revealed that cisplatin – an anti-cancer drug – caused the kidneys to pick up too much sugar.

Based on that, they added a drug that blocked the sugar reabsorption, eliminating the damaging effect of this chemotherapy treatment.

“Our findings would allow patients to receive higher doses of the drug for longer durations of treatment, without the side effects associated with chemo," said Yaakov Nahmia, leading author of the study (pictured below).

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