Although it may be common knowledge among physicians that chemotherapy, radiation, and even newer targeted cancer therapies can inflict collateral damage on the heart, little is known about the extent of that damage or the mechanisms behind it. Researchers are now solving some of these mysteries, and their findings may help oncologists take steps to prevent the development of iatrogenic heart problems in their cancer patients.
“As more and more people survive cancer, we're left with secondary effects—including effects on the heart—that oncologists must address in collaboration with other specialists,” said Aarif Khakoo, MD, MBA, of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Hampton T. Cancer Therapy Can Be Hard on the Heart. JAMA. 2010;303(11):1019-1020. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.269