Cardio-oncology is a growing field, due to several factors. These include the recognition that similar risk factors predispose people to both cardiovascular disease and cancer. In addition, certain cancers affect the heart, and cancer treatments can have short-term and long-lasting deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system. More than 40 years ago, it became evident that anthracyclines and radiation cause heart damage, and since then the list of cancer treatments that can harm the cardiovascular system has grown to include more modern treatments, such as anti-HER2 agents and angiogenesis inhibitors. Most recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been added to the list of cancer treatments that cause cardiovascular damage. ICI-associated myocarditis is a relatively rare but fatal complication that develops rapidly after initiating immunotherapy. Oncologists should be aware of the potential cardiovascular complications of cancer treatments, and should assess the cardiovascular health of all patients about to undergo therapy. Cancer survivors should be assessed and advised about prevention and treatment that may be needed to address cardiovascular disease.
Disclosures: Dr. Moslehi has disclosed that he is a scientific advisor for Nektar Therapeutics, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
Correspondence: Javid J. Moslehi, MD, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, 2220 Pierce Avenue, 383 PRB, Nashville, TN 37232. Email: email@example.com