Modern cancer therapies are highly effective in the treatment of various malignancies, but their use is limited by the potential for cardiotoxicity. The most frequent and typical clinical manifestation of cardiotoxicity is left ventricular dysfunction, induced not only by cytotoxic conventional cancer therapy like anthracyclines, but also by new antitumor targeted therapy such as trastuzumab. The current standard for monitoring cardiac function, based on periodic assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction detects cardiotoxicity only when a functional impairment has already occurred, precluding any chance of preventing its development. A novel approach, based on the use of cardiac biomarkers has emerged in the last decade, resulting in a cost-effective diagnostic tool for early, real-time identification, assessment and monitoring of cardiotoxicity. In particular, prophylactic treatment with enalapril in patients with an early increase in troponin after chemotherapy has been shown to be very effective in preventing left ventricular dysfunction and associated cardiac events. In patients developing cancer treatment induced-cardiomyopathy, complete left ventricular ejection fraction recovery and a reduction of cardiac events may be achieved only when left ventricular dysfunction is detected early after the end of cancer treatment and treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, possibly in combination with beta-blockers, is promptly initiated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine