Commentary

Growing Incidence Of Cardiotoxicity And Heart Damage After Chemotherapy

Growing Incidence Of Cardiotoxicity And Heart Damage After Chemotherapy

The evidence against the use of chemotherapy continues to mount, especially if you’re diabetic. Heart damage caused by chemotherapy is worse in cancer patients with metabolic diseases, according to a study presented EuroEcho-Imaging 2016.

The overall contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults is well below 3 percent. Oncologists are now being advised that the toxic treatment has dire consequences for those with metabolic diseases such as diabetes and insulin resistance.

Heart damage is most often related to the total (cumulative) dose of chemotherapy drug given. “We’ve always known chemotherapy is damaging to the heart but the level of damage to those with metabolic disease is extensive and the risks may outweigh the benefits,” stated oncologist Dr. Maven Rowland commenting on the study.

Cardiac damage can occur even with lower doses of drugs if the person has had previous radiation and specific types of drug therapy. “Whether it be in the EU, U.S, Russia, Canada, India, Australia among other countries, the treatment is still not advanced enough to spare cardiac muscle cells from damage,” concluded Dr. Rowland.

“Cardiotoxicity induced by chemotherapy with anthracyclines is being increasingly reported, mainly because a smaller proportion of patients now die from cancer,” said lead author Dr Ana Catarina Gomes, a cardiologist in training at the Hospital Garcia de Orta in Almada, Portugal. “In the coming years this cardiotoxicity looks set to increase the burden of heart failure in cancer survivors.”

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