Cardiac complications of chemotherapy: Role of biomarkers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both conventional and novel antineoplastic drugs may cause damage to the heart, ultimately affecting patients' survival and quality of life. In fact, the most frequent and typical clinical manifestation of cardiotoxicity, asymptomatic or symptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, may be induced not only by conventional cancer therapy, like anthracyclines, but also by new antitumoral targeted therapy such as trastuzumab. At present, left ventricular ejection fraction assessment represents the main standard practice for cardiac monitoring during cancer therapy, but it detects myocardial damage only when a functional impairment has already occurred, not allowing for early preventive strategies. In the last decade, a newer approach based on the measurement of cardiospecific biomarkers has been proposed, proving to have higher prognostic value than imaging modalities. In particular, cardiac troponin elevation during chemotherapy allows us to identify patients who are more prone to develop myocardial dysfunction and cardiac events during follow up. In these patients, the use of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, such as enalapril, has shown to be effective in improving clinical outcome, giving the chance for a cardioprotective strategy in a selected population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number313
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • ACEI
  • Beta-blockers
  • Biomarkers
  • Cancer therapy
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Left ventricular dysfunction
  • Natriuretic peptides
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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