Cardiotoxicity and cardioprotection in childhood cancer

Steven E. Lipshultz, Peter Sambatakos, Michael Maguire, Ruchika Karnik, Samuel W. Ross, Vivian I. Franco, Tracie L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Children diagnosed with cancer are now living longer as a result of advances in treatment. However, some commonly used anticancer drugs, although effective in curing cancer, can also cause adverse late effects. The cardiotoxic effects of anthracycline chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin, and radiation can cause persistent and progressive cardiovascular damage, emphasizing a need for effective prevention and treatment to reduce or avoid cardiotoxicity. Examples of risk factors for cardiotoxicity in children include higher anthracycline cumulative dose, higher dose of radiation, younger age at diagnosis, female sex, trisomy 21 and black race. However, not all who are exposed to toxic treatments experience cardiotoxicity, suggesting the possibility of a genetic predisposition. Cardioprotective strategies under investigation include the use of dexrazoxane, which provides short- and long-term cardioprotection in children treated with doxorubicin without interfering with oncological efficacy, the use of less toxic anthracycline derivatives and nutritional supplements. Evidence-based monitoring and screening are needed to identify early signs of cardiotoxicity that have been validated as surrogates of subsequent clinically significant cardiovascular disease before the occurrence of cardiac damage, in patients who may be at higher risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalActa Haematologica
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 12 2014


  • Cardioprotection
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Childhood cancer survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiotoxicity and cardioprotection in childhood cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this