Late Cardiotoxicity: Issues for Childhood Cancer Survivors

Jyothsna Akam-Venkata, Vivian I. Franco, Steven E. Lipshultz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular-related morbidity is a substantial health burden in survivors of childhood cancers. This burden is gaining importance as this population increases through advancements in therapy. Anthracyclines are commonly used agents that are known to cause late cardiotoxicity. Cardiotoxicity is also increased by other risk factors, such as concurrent radio- or chemotherapy, younger age at diagnosis, female sex, comorbidities, lifestyle factors, and genetic factors, such as hemochromatosis gene mutations. Treatment of late cardiotoxicity depends on the type of cardiac abnormalities and consists of pharmacotherapy, mechanical support, or heart transplantation. Because cardiotoxicity is progressive and often irreversible, prevention, risk reduction, and early detection are of utmost importance. The cardioprotectant dexrazoxane decreases anthracycline cardiotoxicity. Screening for other risk factors at the time of diagnosis may identify risk that when present, if used to tailor therapy, may reduce the severity of cardiac damage. The effects of exercise and other lifestyle changes in reducing the cardiovascular diseases in cancer survivors are unclear. However, it may be beneficial to encourage survivors to engage in physical activity tailored to survivor medical status, but with close monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Cancer survivors
  • Cardiac surveillance
  • Cardioprotection
  • Late cardiotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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