Feature | ACC Cardio-Oncology Course Drives Discourse, Innovation in Fast-Growing Field

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Cardiology Magazine Image
Cardiology Magazine Image

The ACC's fourth Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient course drew more than 300 cardiovascular and oncology clinicians to Washington, DC, last month for focused education and discussion on the tools needed to improve cancer patient care and treat their unique cardiovascular needs.

Led by course co-directors Ana Barac, MD, PhD, FACC, of Medstar Washington Hospital Center, and Bonnie Ky, MD, MSCE, FACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: CardioOncology, the course provided best practice strategies for the multiprofessional team in the assessment, diagnosis and management of cardiovascular concerns for patients with cancer and those requiring survivorship care.

It also challenged attendees to find ways to incorporate innovative new technologies in their management of patients.

"You have an opportunity as a rapidly emerging new field to take advantage of the new digital technologies in the management and treatment of patients," said ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, in his opening address.

"I encourage you to accept this challenge and help lead the digital transformation."

Experts from across the cardio-oncology field led interactive case discussions on a wide range of topics addressing "Practical Approaches to CV Risk Assessment and Management Across the Cancer Treatment Continuum," "Team Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment of Thrombosis, Hypertension and Late Radiation Effects," and "Cardio-Oncology Care for the Entire Community of Patients and Providers."

Other sessions looked at "Interventional Cardiology – When to Call the Cath Lab" and "Radiation Therapy Essentials: Past and Present Treatment and Future Risk."

In his talk addressing modifiable risk factors in survivors of childhood and adult cancers, Mohammad Shahsahebi, MD, cancer survivor and clinician at Duke University, noted 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer sometime in their life.

He added that cardio-oncology and "onco-primary" care are the next frontiers in value-based care.

Stay on top of the latest cardio-oncology news and research with JACC: CardioOncology at JACC.org/CardioOncology.

For highlights from the meeting, search #ACCCardioOnc on Twitter.

Radiation and the Heart

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Radiation doses to the heart that occur during radiation therapy treatments for lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma may increase fatigue and cause difficulty breathing in cancer patients, according to research presented by Sheela Krishnan, MD, et al., one of the top abstract awardees at the Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient course.

However, engaging in more physical activity prior to treatment may improve these symptoms.

Krishnan and colleagues examined 130 patients with either breast cancer, lung cancer or mediastinal lymphoma who were treated with radiation to the chest, and assessed thoracic radiation therapy as it impacted quality of life.

They collected data before radiation therapy was administered, immediately after the patient had received therapy, and five to nine months after the completion of radiation therapy.

Results showed that lung cancer and lymphoma participants reported an increase in fatigue and dyspnea immediately post radiation therapy, which later improved.

Breast cancer participants, on the other hand, reported significant increases in physical activity and decrease in fatigue over time. In this group, results showed a nonsignificant trend toward increased fatigue with increasing radiation dose.

"While our study is a small study, it suggests that high levels of physical activity prior to initiation of radiation therapy for cancer are associated with better physical functioning and quality of life with cancer treatment," Krishnan said.

"Additional work is still needed to understand the types and timing of exercises that can bring about the greatest benefit."

Congratulations to the other top abstract authors: Diego Sadler, MD, FACC; Isabela Bispo Costa, MD; Ilana Schlam, MD; Carolyn Wu, MD, MS; Courtney Campbell, MD, PhD; Luke Joseph, MD; and Nicolas Palaskas, MD.

Clinical Topics: Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Prevention, Exercise

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Radiation Dosage, Lung Neoplasms, Dyspnea, Exercise, Lymphoma, Fatigue, Breast Neoplasms, Quality of Life

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