ESC position paper on cardiovascular toxicity of cancer treatments: challenges and expectations

Emanuel Raschi, Igor Diemberger, Benilde Cosmi, Fabrizio De Ponti
Internal and Emergency Medicine 2018, 13 (1): 1-9
The recent position paper of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) on cardiovascular toxicity of cancer treatments has attracted considerable interest by healthcare professionals, since it is the first concrete help in the difficult task of monitoring and approaching cardiovascular side effects of anticancer treatments. The ESC expert opinion was not intended as a clinical practice guideline; however, it reports major cardiovascular complications grouped into nine categories, addressing current clinical strategies for prevention and mitigation. In this point of view, we discuss key challenges emerging from critical appraisal of the ESC position paper: (1) the wide spectrum of cardiovascular toxicities associated with oncological drugs, focusing on targeted agents, (2) managing strategies in patients with cardiac implantable devices, (3) the underappreciated (but emerging) immune-related cardiovascular toxicities of checkpoint inhibitors, which may also result in severe heart failure and fulminant myocarditis, (4) the evolving role of anticoagulation in oncology, and the evidence supporting (or not) the use of direct-acting oral anticoagulants in cancer-associated thrombosis.

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