Tumour Lysis Syndrome: Implications for Cancer Therapy

  • Mika, Denish (Department of Biotechnology, Karunya University) ;
  • Ahmad, Sabrina (Department of Biotechnology, Karunya University) ;
  • Guruvayoorappan, C. (Department of Biotechnology, Karunya University)
  • Published : 2012.08.31


The tumour lysis syndrome (TLS) is a group of metabolic abnormalities caused by rapid and unexpected release of cellular components into the circulation as a result of massive destruction of rapidly proliferating malignant cells. It usually develops in patients with hematologic malignancies like acute lymphoid leukemia, non-Hodgkin and Burkitt's lymphoma after initiation of chemotherapy or may, rarely, occur spontaneously. Though TLS is seldom observed in relation to solid tumours, there have been reports of connections with examples such as lung, liver, breast, gastric carcinomas. The clinical manifestations of TLS include hyperuricemia, hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemia. These indications if untreated lead to life-threatening complications such as acute renal failure, cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and eventually death due to multiorgan failure. Therefore early detection of TLS is of vital importance. This can be accomplished by identification of high risk patients, implementation of suitable prophylactic measures andmonitoring of the electrolyte levels in patients undergoing chemotherapy.


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