Farhad R. Danesh, M.D.
Professor and Section Chief
The Nephrology section specializes in disorders and diseases of the kidneys in cancer patients. Our mission is to provide the highest level of patient care, expand the frontiers of basic and clinical investigation in nephrology, and support state-of-the-art training and education in nephrology. Our full-time faculty members are dedicated to clinical practice, research and teaching.
A message from the section chief
Welcome to the Nephrology section at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Kidney complications, because of cancer or its treatment, are becoming increasingly more prevalent in our population. Treatments for these onco-nephrology conditions are changing rapidly, and exciting new advances in basic and clinical research offer a promise of even more effective therapies to come.
As a research-intensive section in the Internal Medicine division, our faculty, fellows and staff provide state-of-the-art clinical care for patients with kidney diseases and generate new knowledge with the ultimate goal of improving our understanding and treatment of these diseases. The research is fostered by several NIH-funded grants. We also teach onco-nephrology to medical students, residents and fellows, while training the next generation of onco-nephrologists through our outstanding onco-nephrology fellowship program.
I encourage you to explore our website to learn more about us.
News & events
U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" 2020-2021 survey ranks MD Anderson the nation’s top hospital for cancer care. As a testament to the Nephrology section’s continued commitment to providing excellent patient care, Nephrology received its first ever "High Performing” ranking. U.S. News & World Report's survey rankings are based on a complex set of factors, including a reputational survey of board-certified physician specialists around the nation, nurse-to-patient ratio, advanced technologies and, increasingly, clinical data such as patient outcomes and processes of care. For more information on the 2020-2021 rankings, check the U.S. News & World Report website.
The annual Onco-Nephrology Symposium is scheduled for October 8-9, 2021. The symposium is jointly sponsored by MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Mayo Clinic. Its goal is to inform physicians and advanced providers about the current best practices in onco-nephrology, in the hopes of improving their approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer-associated kidney disorders. This year’s symposium is sponsored by the Mayo Clinic and will be presented live and virtually. Brochure and registration information can be accessed at https://ce.mayo.edu/nephrology/content/onco-nephrology-symposium-2021-0. Please contact Sheldon Chen, M.D., at SChen8@mdanderson.org for additional information.
The Bayou City Bean Club is a collaboration between MDAnderson; Baylor College of Medicine; McGovern Medical School, Houston; and Houston Methodist Hosptial. This is a CME-sponsored education series designed to contribute to the education of professionals in the Texas Medical Center on special topics impacting nephrology. It meets the 3rd Friday of every month from 12-1:30pm (currently via Zoom). Please contact Racquel Warren at RWWarren@mdanderson.org for information on how to participate.
The Nephrology section hosts weekly Renal Rounds for faculty and fellows to present on clinical and research topics and activities. Renal Rounds meets every Friday from 12-1p.m. (currently via Zoom). Please contact Racquel Warren at RWWarren@mdanderson.org on how to participate.
Nephrology Section Chief Farhad Danesh, M.D., will serve on the Editorial Board of Journal of Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association. His term will run from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.
“Immunotherapy and Novel Cancer Target Therapies in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Cancer,” by Ala Abudayyeh, M.D., was published in May 2021 ASN Kidney News. https://www.kidneynews.org/view/journals/kidney-news/13/5/article-p19_5.xml
On behalf of the Section of Nephrology, we are excited to announce our recent institutionally approved MD Anderson Immune Nephritis Algorithm. The algorithm provides a detailed and streamlined biopsy-guided approach to work up, manage, and treat patients who develop acute kidney injury on immune checkpoint therapy. The MD Anderson Immune Nephritis algorithm is unique, as it is the first guideline to offer several innovative treatment approaches, including the usage of infliximab and rituximab, to avoid prolong steroid usage and T cell suppression in patients responding to immunotherapy while still achieving durable renal recovery. These recommendations are guided by several of our recently published papers. This algorithm--and many others to come--is a collaborative effort between the Divisions of Internal Medicine and Cancer Medicine to improve patient outcomes while effectively managing associated toxicities, such as nephritis. Nephritis Web Algorithm
Drs. Lin, Mamlouk, and Abudayyeh's manuscript, “Infliximab for the Treatment of Patients with Checkpoint Inhibitor Associated Acute Tubular Interstitial Nephritis," was published in Oncoimmunology in February, 2021. This is the first original research article to introduce the use of infliximab in cases of steroid refractory or relapsed CPI-acute tubular interstitial nephritis. Their results showed that infliximab is a treatment option for achieving durable and complete renal recovery in difficult to treat cases and represents the first steroid-sparing strategy in CPI-ATIN. We are excited to see this novel work and practice changing guidelines from the Nephrology section. This work was supported by the MD Anderson Cancer Center's Division of Internal Medicine Immuno-Oncology Toxicity Award Program. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33643693/
“Improving on the Adrogue-Madias Formula for Predicting Sodium Levels” by Sheldon Chen, M.D., published in Kidney360, made it to the ASN’s (December 2020) Top 5 of the Month. https://kidney360.asnjournals.org/content/2/2/365
Clinical faculty and staff
Farhad Danesh, M.D., Professor and Section Chief
Ala Abudayyeh, M.D., Associate Professor
Sheldon Chen, M.D., Associate Professor
Amit Lahoti, M.D., Associate Professor
Jamie S. Lin, M.D., Assistant Professor
Omar Mamlouk, M.D., Instructor
Sreedhar Mandayam, M.D., Associate Professor
Biruh Workeneh, M.D., Associate Professor
Kenneth Ward, RN, MSN, Advanced Practice Nurse
Harini Bejjanki, M.D., Onco-Nephrology Fellow
Research faculty and staff
Benny H. Chang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Daniel Galvan, Ph.D., Instructor
Li Li, M.D., Graduate Student
Jianyin Long, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Koki Mise, M.D., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Yanlan Dong, Senior Research Data Coordinator
Kevin Mulpur, MHA, CCRP, Assistant Department Administrator
Racquel Warren, MBA, Senior Administrative Assistant
Lisa Welsh-Skiffington, MSPH, Project Coordinator
Nephrology clinical faculty
Nephrology research faculty
MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 301402, Unit 1468
Houston, TX 77230-1402
1400 Pressler Street, FCT13.6082
Houston, TX 77030-3722