In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

We use cookies to optimise the design of this website and make continuous improvement. By continuing your visit, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more

Heart failure and cancer

Heart Failure (HF)

There are millions of new cancers every year and 60% of patients receive chemotherapy and therefore are at risk of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity. In fact, it appears that chemotherapy in childhood increases cardiac risk 8 fold.

Chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy has a bad prognosis. It is crucial to identify these patients early. If treatment with ACE inhibitors and ß-blockers are instituted later than 6 months after LV dysfunction and heart failure occurs, there is no beneficial effect any more.

Ongoing damage can be identifed by troponin T or I measurement, in fact prolonged elevated levels of troponin predicted LV dysfunction.

Cachexia is a major complicating condition and impairs outcome both in patients with cancer and heart failure. It appears that development of cachexia can be attenuated with ACE-inhibitors and ß-blockers. Spironolactone may even be able to increase body weight in this setting.

Early identification of cardiotoxicity after chemotherapy is crucial and early initiation of treatment with ACE inhibitors and ß-blockers is quite effective.




Heart failure and cancer

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.