Anthracycline associated cardiotoxicity in survivors of childhood cancer.

Department of Pediatrics, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Holtz Children's Hospital of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, FL 33101, USA.
Heart (British Cardiac Society) (Impact Factor: 6.02). 05/2008; 94(4):525-33. DOI: 10.1136/hrt.2007.136093
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric patients with Down syndrome (DS) are at an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Specifically, patients with DS have a reported 10-20-fold increased risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Anthracycline-based treatment regimens achieve good results in patients with DS and AML. It has been proposed that DS status constitutes a risk factor for the cardiotoxicity associated with the use of anthracyclines in the pediatric setting. However, published evidence pointing toward an increased risk of cardiotoxicity in patients with DS is relatively scarce and conflictive. This concise review compiles literature relating to the incidence of anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity in pediatric patients with DS. In general, reports from trials using anthracyclines at the maximum recommended dose showed increases in the incidence of anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity in patients with DS in comparison with trials that used anthracyclines at reduced doses. Evidence from the literature suggests that patients with DS can achieve favorable therapeutic outcomes after receiving treatment with reduced doses of anthracyclines to minimize the potential for cardiotoxicity. Further prospective trials, along with the available evidence, would assist the design of treatment protocols for patients with pediatric leukemias and DS.
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    ABSTRACT: Nonischemic cardiomyopathy can complicate antineoplastic therapy and lead to irreversible heart failure. We evaluated structural changes at the time of left ventricular assist device implantation in heart failure patients who had been exposed to anthracycline, and we correlated those changes with clinical presentation. We retrospectively studied left ventricular core samples taken at implantation of the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device in 12 heart failure patients (mean age, 46 ± 16 yr) who had histories of anthracycline exposure. We evaluated those samples for hypertrophy, myocytolysis, and fibrosis. Histopathologic findings showed moderate-to-severe myocyte hypertrophy, moderate myocytolysis, and perivascular and interstitial fibrosis with areas of replacement fibrosis. Ultrastructural studies revealed marked decreases in myofibrils, diffuse mitochondrial swelling, and disorganization of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The interval between anthracycline therapy and heart failure was a mean of 6.8 ± 5.7 years; duration of heart failure symptoms, 38 ± 47 months; and duration of device support, 414 ± 266 days. Four patients are continuing on device support, 3 have undergone transplantation, 3 have undergone device explantation, and 2 have died. The time of heart failure onset and the duration of symptoms did not correlate with the severity and extent of the histopathologic changes. The histopathologic findings and the clinical course varied in heart failure patients with anthracycline exposure. No correlation was observed between anthracycline therapy and the development or duration of heart failure symptoms, severity of histopathologic changes, or outcomes
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment advances have increased survival in children with cancer, but subclinical, progressive, irreversible, and sometimes fatal treatment-related cardiovascular effects may appear years later. Cardio-oncologists have identified promising preventive and treatment strategies. Dexrazoxane provides long-term cardioprotection from doxorubicin-associated cardiotoxicity without compromising the efficacy of anticancer treatment. Continuous infusion of doxorubicin is as effective as bolus administration in leukemia treatment, but no evidence has indicated that it provides long-term cardioprotection; continuous infusions should be eliminated from pediatric cancer treatment. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can delay the progression of subclinical and clinical cardiotoxicity. All survivors, regardless of whether they were treated with anthracyclines or radiation, should be monitored for systemic inflammation and the risk of premature cardiovascular disease. Echocardiographic screening must be supplemented with screening for biomarkers of cardiotoxicity and perhaps by identification of genetic susceptibilities to cardiovascular diseases; optimal strategies need to be identified. The health burden related to cancer treatment will increase as this population expands and ages.
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