Cardiomyopathic Toxicity From Chemotherapy: Is There an Opportunity for Preemptive Intervention?

Kristopher J. Swiger, Jai Singh, Daniel J. Lenihan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The fight against cancer has never appeared more optimistic with multiple ongoing advances in cancer therapeutics; however, the prevention of cardiotoxicity from these treatments, both old and new, is a major focus of recent research. We recommend conceptualizing the prevention of cardiotoxicity as binary whereby primary prevention involves a uniform application of preventative efforts to anyone receiving a potentially cardiotoxic drug and secondary prevention directed towards those with left ventricular dysfunction, whether symptomatic or not. Recent studies suggest that cardioprotective medications such as renin-angiotensin inhibitors and beta blockers, among others, may be beneficial in the primary prevention of cardiotoxicity. Importantly, the magnitude of this protective effect appears to be driven by baseline risk of cardiac disease. In terms of secondary prevention, we recommend that patients with symptomatic heart failure related to cancer treatment should be treated as aggressively as patients with heart failure from other causes, as indicated by the most recent guidelines. We identify a relative paucity of data to guide those with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction. We summarize the literature to date with an emphasis on recent investigation and outline the importance of a continued partnership between cardiologists, oncologists, and primary care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Prevention
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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