Cardio-oncology Part I: chemotherapy and cardiovascular toxicity

Meabh O'Hare, Ashwini Sharma, Katie Murphy, Farouk Mookadam, Howard Lee
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 2015, 13 (5): 511-8
Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the most common causes of mortality in the US, causing approximately 1.2 million deaths annually. The incidence of cancer is expected to increase as the population ages. The prognosis of cancer patients has improved over the last few decades primarily because of newer chemotherapeutic drugs; however, many of these drugs have cardiotoxic side effects. The short-term cardiovascular toxicities of more established drugs are well described; however, understanding of the underlying pathogenesis is increasing. The delayed cardiotoxic effects of cancer treatments have become an important issue contributing to mortality and morbidity as cancer survivorship increases. Chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity can manifest in many ways, from asymptomatic decreases in left ventricular ejection fraction to congestive heart failure. Hypertension is commonly seen both as a co-morbidity and a side effect of chemotherapy. In this article, we discuss the pathogenesis, scope, presentation and potential prevention of these toxicities.


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