Dr Amini on High-Risk Factors Associated With Cardiac Toxicities in Lung Cancer


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Arya Amini, MD, discusses cardiac toxicities associated with lung cancer.

Arya Amini, MD, radiation oncologist, associate professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, chief, Thoracic Radiotherapy, City of Hope, discusses cardiac toxicities associated with lung cancer.

As a radiation oncologist specializing in thoracic oncology, Amini says that his practice primarily focused on lung cancer when he began practicing approximately 6 years ago. At that time, the primary concern was mitigating esophagitis as an effect of radiation, with little emphasis on potential cardiac complications, he shares. However, over the past several years, Amini explains that he has witnessed some patients experiencing cardiac toxicity, prompting the recognition of the importance of considering the heart in thoracic radiation treatment planning. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to contribute to the thoracic guideline committee of the American Radium Society, where he was tasked with evaluating cardiac toxicity in thoracic radiation. This involvement led to the exploration into the literature to build upon the understanding of strategies to better manage patients at high risk of cardiac complications due to factors such as advanced age, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking history, Amini emphasizes.

Awareness emerged as a key factor in this process, as Amini shares that he realized the significance of incorporating cardiac considerations into lung cancer treatment plans. Although historically, heart complications were not a primary concern due to lower survival rates in lung cancer compared with diseases such as breast cancer or lymphoma, advancements in treatment have led to improved outcomes and increased longevity for patients with lung cancer, necessitating a more comprehensive approach to care, Amini expands. During a presentation at the 2024 ACRO Summit, his aim was to raise awareness among his colleagues about the importance of considering cardiac health in the context of thoracic radiation. It is important to encourage oncologists to consider referring patients for cardiology evaluation or engaging with primary care providers to ensure comprehensive post-treatment care, including monitoring lipid profiles and cardiovascular health, Amini elucidates.

Radiation oncologists often focus on delivering effective treatment and achieving favorable outcomes for patients, he continues. However, it is essential to recognize the importance of ongoing follow-up care and collaboration with other health care providers to address potential long-term complications and optimize overall patient well-being, Amini concludes.

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