Opportunities Within the Cardio-Oncology Section For Early Career Members

Have you heard of cardio-oncology? The ACC has a new section devoted to this field and we would love to have you be a part of our activities!

To spread the awareness and increase collaboration, the College created a dedicated section for cardio-oncology that hopes to bring together cardiologists interested in advancing patient care within this emerging area through education, research opportunities and multidisciplinary teamwork. This area is a wonderful opportunity for cardiologists early in their career to get involved given that it is still somewhat uncharted territory in many ways, but growing every day.

As many of you already know, cardio-oncology focuses on the cardiovascular health of patients who have, or have previously had, cancer. Cardiologists specializing in cardio-oncology help ensure that optimal cancer treatment is administered by preventing, or at least mitigating, related cardiac toxicity whenever possible. They shoulder the responsibility of managing any resulting cardiovascular complications to avoid limiting effective cancer therapy, and also play a role in the management and treatment of any cardiovascular effects that do occur as a result of cancer therapy, or of the cancer itself.

This is becoming an especially important field due to the increased understanding of many malignancies, advances in cancer therapy and improved survivorship strategies over the past two decades, causing an increased number of both adult and pediatric cancer survivors, with almost 19 million predicted by 2024. Although cardiac toxicity can develop during the acute management of cancer, most patients remain at risk for cardiovascular complications for the rest of their lifetime. As a result, we cardiologists need to be ready to treat many of these patients regardless of where we practice.

Resources for YOU:
ACC's Cardio-Oncology Section page and the Cardio-Oncology Clinical Topic Collection are excellent platforms for early career members to get involved and learn about this burgeoning field. The section offers a multitude of resources, including information about the latest clinical practices, topical research articles, exercises to expand knowledge with educational patient cases, information about upcoming regional and national conferences, and additional opportunities for career growth.

How to get involved:

  • Attend the upcoming two-day live course "Advancing Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient" from February 17 – 18 in Washington, DC, to learn more about updates in the field. Early Career members can further participate by submitting case presentations from one of the following areas listed below to either of the course directors: Ana Barac, MD, FACC, chair of the Cardio-Oncology Section (ana.barac@medstar.net), and Bonnie Ky, MD, FACC (bonnie.ky@uphs.upenn.edu):
    • Atrial fibrillation and anticoagulation (in patients with thrombocytopenia)
    • QT prolongation
    • Cardiac thrombus and anticoagulation
    • Drug-eluting stent (DES) vs. bare metal stent in patients who develop an MI during cancer therapy
    • Dual antiplatelet therapy in patients with DES during cancer treatment
    • Chest pain management in the setting of 5F
  • Visit us at the Cardio-Oncology table during the All Section Meeting at ACC.17 on March 18, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (Marriott Marquis Ballroom Salon 5) – make sure you attend and engage in opportunities to network with others both specializing and interested in this flourishing field, and to find new ways to get involved!
  • BRING YOUR OWN IDEAS: Visit the Cardio-Oncology Section Page, email me at oquinnr@uphs.upenn.edu or reach out to Sarah Sears (snsears@acc.org), ACC staff liaison for the Section, for more information or with any questions.

This article was authored by Rupal O'Quinn, MD, FACC, Early Career member of ACC's Cardio-Oncology Section Leadership Council.