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: 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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    ABSTRACT: Improvement in long-term survival in patients with acute childhood leukemia has led to the need for monitorization of chemotherapy-related morbidity and mortality. This study included 60 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that were in remission for at least 2 years and 30 healthy controls. Systolic and diastolic function of myocardium was evaluated using conventional echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging of the left ventricle, interventricular septum and right ventricle. Median age of patients was 11.7 years (range 10-14.9 years), and the median duration of remission was 4 years (range 2.5-5 years). All patients were treated with a low cumulative dose of adriamycin (100 mg/m2) according to the St. Jude Total-XIIIA protocol. The ejection fraction (EF) and fractional shortening were normal in the patient and control groups, even though EF values were significantly lower in the patients (69.5 ± 2.3 vs. 72.7 ± 3 %, P < 0.01). Myocardial systole (S m), early diastole (E m) and late diastole (A m) velocities in all segments of the myocardium were significantly lower in the patient group (P < 0.01 for all segments). Cardiotoxicity was noted in all segments of the myocardium in the patient group, despite the fact that they were all treated with a low cumulative dose of adriamycin. Based on these findings, we think that there is no safe dose for anthracyclines and periodic echocardiographic evaluation of both the left and right ventricles must be performed in all patients treated with anthracyclines, even at low doses.
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