One study presented at the meeting, which is being held in Budapest, Hungary, 7 to 10 December, reports on an initiative using echocardiography to document early warning signs of adverse effects from trastuzumab (Herceptin ), while the other uses echocardiography to evaluate the protective role of ACE inhibitors and statins on the hearts of cancer patients.
"These studies open the way for the early identification of myocardial damage at the subclinical level, thereby allowing clinicians to identify patients who might benefit from either changes in cancer therapy or the delivery of protective treatments," says EAE president Dr Luigi Badano, from the University of Padua, Italy.
Already echocardiography is widely used to evaluating cardio toxicity, but the most commonly used parameter of left ventricular ejection fractions (LVEF), only identifies myocardial damage that has already occurred and fails to identify the early subtle alterations in left ventricular function that predict future functional decline.
Newer cancer therapies have improved the survival of patients with cancer and, in some cases, turned cancer into a chronic disease. The result is that patients are now surviving long enough for the adverse cardiovascular effects of some cancer therapies to become apparent. The anthracyclines and related compounds are the most frequently implicated agents, but other treatments such as 5Fluoroouracil, its prodrug capecitabine, and trastuzumab, a tumour-specific antibody, have also been associated with cardio toxicity. Currently it is estimated that 17% of patients have to stop cancer therapy due to adverse effects on their hearts.
The cardio toxic effects of cancer treatments encompass a heterogeneous group of disorders, says Dr Helder Dores, from Santa Cruz Hospital/So Francisco Xavier Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal, "They range from relatively benign arrhythmias, and hypertension, to potentially lethal conditions such as thrombo
|Contact: ESC Press Office|
European Society of Cardiology