Assessment of cardiotoxicity with cardiac biomarkers in cancer patients

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Cardiotoxicity remains a major limitation of chemotherapy, strongly affecting the quality of life and the overall survival of cancer patients, regardless of their oncologic prognosis. The time elapsed from the end of cancer therapy to the beginning of heart failure therapy for chemotherapy-induced cardiac dysfunction is an important determinant of the extent of recovery. This highlights the need for a real-time diagnosis of cardiac injury. The current standard for monitoring cardiac function detects cardiotoxicity only when a functional impairment has already occurred, precluding any chance of preventing its development. In the last decade, early identification, assessment, and monitoring of cardiotoxicity, by measurement of serum cardiospecific biomarkers, have been proposed as an effective alternative. In particular, the role of troponin I in identifying patients at risk for cardiotoxicity and of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in preventing left ventricular ejection fraction reduction and cardiac events has clearly proved to be an effective strategy for this complication. In addition, novel biomarkers for the identification of cardiotoxicity are emerging. The use of a multimarker approach may provide a unique opportunity for advancement in this field, allowing for better stratification of the cardiac risk in cancer patients treated with anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiotoxins
  • Chemotherapy
  • Natriuretic peptides
  • Troponin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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