Strategies to Prevent Cardiotoxicity

Academic Article


  • Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among cancer survivors. While the field of cardiology as a whole is driven by evidence generated through robust clinical trials, data in cardio-oncology is limited to a relatively small number of prospective clinical trials with heterogeneous groups of cancer patients. In addition, many pharmaceutical trials in oncology are flawed from a cardiovascular perspective because they exclude patients with significant cardiovascular (CV) history and have wide variation in the definitions of CV events and cardiotoxicity. Ultimately, oncology trials often underrepresent the possibility of cardiovascular events in a “real world” population. Thus, the signal for CV toxicity from a cancer treatment is often not manifested until phase IV studies; where we are often caught trying to mitigate the CV effects rather than preventing them. Most of the data about cardiotoxicity from cancer therapy and cardioprotective strategies has been developed from our experience in using anthracyclines for over 50 years with dramatic improvement in cancer survivorship. However, as we are in an era where cancer drug discovery is moving at lightning pace with increasing survival rates, it is imperative to move beyond anthracyclines and commit to research on the cardiovascular side effects of all aspects of cancer therapy with a focus on prevention. We emphasize the role of pre-cancer treatment CV assessment to anticipate cardiac issues and ultimately optimizing CV risk prior to cancer therapy as an opportunity to mitigate cardiovascular risk from cancer therapy.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Graffagnino J; Kondapalli L; Arora G; Hawi R; Lenneman CG
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 4