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Cardio-Oncology in the Nordic Countries

Nordic Cardio-Oncology Society (NCOS)

The field of cardio-oncology is evolving as a new focus area due to several aspects: more elderly patients are diagnosed with cancer, treatment is increasingly complex and often cardiotoxic, and cancer survival is improving, thus more patients are at higher risk of heart disease. Cardiologists and oncologists have different perspectives of cancer therapy and cardiac side effects. A collaboration between the two fields is essential to offer the patients the best possible cancer treatment with minimal injury to the heart. The purpose of developing a Nordic Cardio-Oncology Society is to allow for an interdisciplinary collaboration between cardiologists and oncologists within and between the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden both in a clinically manner and for future research collaboration.

Individually the Nordic countries have a population ranging between 350,000 to 10 million but put together they have a population of more than 25 million people. The health care system in the Nordic countries are quite similar and by merging our knowledge and collaborate in research, we can work faster and generate high quality work with clinical impact.

The board of NCOS consists of a cardiologist and an oncologist from each of the five countries. The main aim for NCOS is to create awareness of cardiovascular side effects during all phases of cancer treatment and follow-up, and to be an arena for Nordic research networking.

In the NCOS agreement document the following aims have been listed:

  1. To create awareness of cardiovascular side effects of cancer treatment
  2. Improve risk assessment and provide recognition and treatment of cardiac complications in patients with or who survive cancer
  3. To create a Nordic arena of collaboration among those participating in the care of patients with malignant diseases and cardiovascular issues
  4. To create a Nordic arena where medical personnel who treat or prevent cardiovascular side effects of cancer patients can share their experiences
  5. To create an arena for research across the Nordic borders in cardio-oncology
  6. To create a website to share links about cardio-oncology
  7. To be an arena where PhD students can present research relevant for cardio-oncology
  8. Be a meeting point and support for those working in cardio-oncology out-patient clinics
  9. To provide knowledge and educational activities in cardio-oncology
  10. Be affiliated with each of the Nordic national cardiology societies
  11. Be affiliated with each of the Nordic national cancer societies
  12. Be affiliated with the International Cardio-Oncology Society

NCOS held the first Nordic Cardio-Oncology Summit in November 2019 in Oslo, Norway. The second summit is planned to be held in Helsinki, Finland in 2021. In addition to be kept up to date on the field, the summits allow for networking between research groups and clinicians in cardiology and oncology both within and between the Nordic countries.

About the Authors

Geeta Gulati MD PhD

Department of Cardiology, Cardio-Oncology Unit, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Norway

President of the Nordic Cardio-Oncology Society 

Birgitte Vrou Offersen MD PhD

Department Experimental Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

Deputy Chair of the Nordic Cardio-Oncology Society