Assessment of Cardiac Function in Cardio-Oncology Clinics in Cancer Centers

Cancer centers with cardio-oncology clinics may be more likely to monitor post-treatment cardiac function than those centers without clinics, according to a research letter published March 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dorothy M. Gujral, PhD, Guy Lloyd, MD, and Sanjeev Bhattacharyya, MD, examined the methods used by cancer centers, both with and without cardio-oncology clinics, to assess cardiovascular risk in patients receiving cancer treatments. Through an electronic survey, researchers collected data from 113 oncology centers in the U.S. and U.K. on the “provision and organization of cardio-oncology services” and the “frequency and modality of cardiovascular screening and the use of cardiovascular biomarkers.”

The results of the survey showed that six-month post-treatment assessment of left ventricular function occurred more frequently at centers with cardio-oncology clinics as opposed to those without (54 percent vs. 9 percent). Further, those centers with cardio-oncology clinics were more likely to use cardiovascular biomarkers, such as brain natriuretic peptide (21 percent vs. 5 percent) and troponin (18 percent vs. 4 percent), and more likely to perform cardiac follow-up after radiotherapy (23 percent vs. 5 percent).

Gujral, et al., state that “an integral question is whether the provision of a cardio-oncology clinic improves the detections of cardiotoxicity.”

The authors add that they “propose collaboration among international cardiovascular and oncology societies to define the optimal organization of cardio-oncology services, protocols for the detection and management of cardiotoxicity and audit standards to measure the effect of services on patient outcomes.” 

Clinical Topics: Cardio-Oncology

Keywords: Biological Markers, Cardiotoxins, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cooperative Behavior, Heart, Natriuretic Peptide, Brain, Troponin, Ventricular Function, Left, Cardiotoxicity

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