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Why do we need cardiac imaging in cancer therapy?

Non-Invasive Imaging


It is now well recognized that despite major achievements in antineoplastic therapy, there is increasing medical concern about cardiovascular complications in this patient population. Consequently, a new discipline has been referred to as cardio-oncology, with the intention of reducing the risk of heart and vessel directed toxicity without a concomitant unfavourable impact on the beneficial effects associated with treatment against malignancies.

The session included four presentations.
First, Doctor Juan Carlos Plana from Cleveland (US) provided interesting insights into cardiovascular side effects of cancer drugs.
Then, Professor Ana Maria G. Almeida from Lisbon (Portugal) questioned whether ejection fraction, as a parameter, is enough to monitor cancer therapy.

In the third presentation, Doctor Evgeny Shkolnik from Moscow (Russia) talked about a potential added value of deformation imaging for detection and monitoring of cardiotoxicity.
Finally, Doctor Thomas H Marwick from Hobart (Australia) pointed out the need for, and difficulties in developing standardised protocols that would integrate cardiovascular imaging into the management of patients in the field of oncology. Since there is substantial variation in malignant disorders, treatment protocols and mechanisms of cardiovascular complications, further studies are needed before more definite conclusions can be introduced.

Left ventricular systolic function remains a very important element in the assessment of cardiotoxicity, but prediction of its impairment or potential for developing reversible abnormalities remains a challenge. On the other hand, prevention using treatment with some well known cardiovascular therapeutic agents including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/ angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers and statins, is promising due to their protective effect.

References


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Why do we need cardiac imaging in cancer therapy?

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.