Cardioprotective Strategies to Prevent Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiovascular Toxicity: a Review


Purpose of Review

Patients with cancer have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. This review describes the cardiovascular risks of different cancer therapies and the evidence for cardioprotective strategies.

Recent Findings

Recent studies have provided additional support for the safety and efficacy of dexrazoxane and liposomal anthracycline formulations in certain high-risk patients receiving anthracyclines and for neurohormonal antagonist therapy in patients with breast cancer receiving sequential anthracyclines and trastuzumab. Ongoing studies are exploring the benefit of: (1) statins for anthracycline cardioprotection; (2) strict blood pressure control during vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor treatment and; (3) dexrazoxane on long-term cardiac outcomes in pediatric populations. To date, there are no evidence-based cardioprotective strategies specifically for radiation-related heart and vascular disease, immunotherapy myocarditis, fluoropyrimidine cardiotoxicity, vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor-related hypertension, BCR-Abl multikinase inhibitor vascular disease, and other established and emerging cancer therapeutics with cardiovascular effects.


Current evidence supports specific cardioprotective strategies for high risk patients receiving anthracyclines or sequential anthracycline-trastuzumab therapy; however, major evidence gaps exist.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Upshaw, J.N. Cardioprotective Strategies to Prevent Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiovascular Toxicity: a Review. Curr Oncol Rep 22, 72 (2020).

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  • Cardio-oncology
  • Heart failure
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anthracyclines
  • Radiation
  • Cardiovascular disease