Congratulations to Marc Bjurlin, DO, MSc who, alongside Primary Investigator and NYU Associate Professor Stella Kang, MD, MSc, have be awarded a National Institute of Health R01 Grant for “Tailored Screening for Urinary System Cancers in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease.”
The R01 Grant is backed by $2.7M from the National Cancer Institute and will support the efforts of creating a simulation model for urinary system cancer screenings that account for cancer-specific morbidity and mortality as well as competing mortality risks. The project will also include stakeholder input on the acceptability of the benefits and harms for patients.
Dr. Bjurlin and Dr. Kang, along with fellow NYU Physician William C. Huang, MD, have previously worked on other published work leading up to this R01 grant that suggested expanding the recommendations set forth by the American Urological Association for the treatment of small, benign-appearing kidney tumors.
“This unique multi-institutional and multispecialty collaborative study will help to improve genitourinary cancer screening approaches for our patients with Chronic Kidney Disease.”
Marc Bjurlin, DO, MSc, FACOS
Associate Professor of Urology
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a highly prevalent condition, found in 20% of people aged 50 years and older. While it is well known that CKD is strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality, recent work has demonstrated an association with cancer risk that also merits consideration for preventive strategies. Cancer is the leading cause of death in mid-life patients afflicted by early stages of CKD, and the 2nd leading cause across all CKD patients under 65 years. Specifically, kidney cancers occur three times more often in patients with CKD, including a hazard ratio of up to 3.4 in younger men (40-52 years) with moderate CKD (15-60 mL/min/1.73 m2).
Current guidelines recommend that CKD patients undergo monitoring of common renal and cardiovascular risk factors that overlap with those of urinary tract cancers such as smoking, hypertension, and obesity. Thus, the lack of clear cancer screening recommendations represents an important gap in CKD practice guidelines and may be due to the complex weighing of benefits and harms for a population with wide-ranging health status.
The project team’s experts include those in decision science, epidemiology, urologic oncology, nephrology, radiology, and internal medicine and they will apply complementary experience to assess the potential of screening strategies.