Author(s): Chen MH, Colan SD, Diller L
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Abstract Although important advances have been made in curing childhood cancer in the last several decades, long-term survivors face considerable morbidity and mortality because of late effects from their initial anticancer therapy. By 30 years after treatment, the cumulative mortality from treatment-related medical illness actually exceeds that of mortality from cancer recurrence. Cardiovascular disease, in particular, is a leading threat to the well-being of adult survivors of childhood cancers. Unfortunately, the mechanisms of these late cardiac effects are understudied and poorly understood. This article reviews cardiotoxicity associated with 2 major anticancer regimens used in treating childhood cancer patients: anthracycline treatment and radiation therapy. The known pathophysiology and clinical cardiac risk factors that further predispose these patients to late-onset cardiac events are discussed. Basic and translational research is urgently needed to clarify pathophysiologic mechanisms of late cardiac effects and to develop therapies to improve both long-term survival and quality of life of adults cured of pediatric cancers.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy