Longer Survivals Move Cardiotoxicity Issues to Forefront

Darcy Lewis
Published: Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
Michael G. Fradley, MD

Michael G. Fradley, MD
In patients with cancer, improvements in survival have opened the door to broader consideration of the long-term effects of treatment and how best to manage them. Cardiotoxicity is 1 such adverse event (AE) that is getting more attention among oncologists, as evidenced by a sudden rise in meetings and educational events devoted to this aspect of care. Statistics help explain this growing attention to downstream effects of treatment. An estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors are in the United States, and more than 60% of cancer survivors are alive 5 years after diagnosis. Even at 10 years, survivorship is about 40% overall.1-3



The National Cancer Institute defines cardiotoxicity very broadly as “toxicity that affects the heart,” which various organizations refine as a host of diseases and conditions that result from treatment with a variety of oncologic drugs. Major medical associations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society for Medical Oncology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the International Society for Geriatric Oncology, and the American Heart Association have begun to formulate recommendations and guidelines that address various aspects of cardiotoxicity.
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