From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Management of Antineoplastic Drug-Induced Cardiovascular Toxicity: A Translational Overview

Carlo Gabriele Tocchetti, Christian Cadeddu, Daniela Di Lisi, Saveria Femminò, Rosalinda Madonna, Donato Mele, Ines Monte, Giuseppina Novo, Claudia Penna, Alessia Pepe, Paolo Spallarossa, Gilda Varricchi, Concetta Zito, Pasquale Pagliaro, Giuseppe Mercuro

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Antineoplastic therapies have significantly improved the prognosis of oncology patients. However, these treatments can bring to a higher incidence of side-effects, including the worrying cardiovascular toxicity (CTX). Substantial evidence indicates multiple mechanisms of CTX, with redox mechanisms playing a key role. Recent data singled out mitochondria as key targets for antineoplastic drug-induced CTX; understanding the underlying mechanisms is, therefore, crucial for effective cardioprotection, without compromising the efficacy of anti-cancer treatments. CTX can occur within a few days or many years after treatment. Type I CTX is associated with irreversible cardiac cell injury, and it is typically caused by anthracyclines and traditional chemotherapeutics. Type II CTX is generally caused by novel biologics and more targeted drugs, and it is associated with reversible myocardial dysfunction. Therefore, patients undergoing anti-cancer treatments should be closely monitored, and patients at risk of CTX should be identified before beginning treatment to reduce CTX-related morbidity. Genetic profiling of clinical risk factors and an integrated approach using molecular, imaging, and clinical data may allow the recognition of patients who are at a high risk of developing chemotherapy-related CTX, and it may suggest methodologies to limit damage in a wider range of patients. The involvement of redox mechanisms in cancer biology and anticancer treatments is a very active field of research. Further investigations will be necessary to uncover the hallmarks of cancer from a redox perspective and to develop more efficacious antineoplastic therapies that also spare the cardiovascular system. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 15 2017


  • Journal Article


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