How is Cardio-Oncology Advancing in Japan?

Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death in Japan, a country with a rapidly increasing elderly population. While Japan has made progress in reducing cancer mortality, there has been an increase in the number of cancer survivors. Consequently, Japan is seeing an increase in cardiovascular events related to cancer treatment. To address the growing field of cardio-oncology in Japan, Issei Komuro, MD, PhD, president of the Japanese Onco-Cardiology Society, published two perspectives Dec. 15 in JACC: CardioOncology.

In the first paper, Komuro and Chikashi Ishiola, MD, PhD, president of the Japanese Society of Medical Oncology, discuss the growing demand for treatment of cancer patients with cardiovascular comorbidities or complications. They explain that cardiologists need information and knowledge of current cancer therapies; and in turn, oncologists require the same information and knowledge of cardiovascular disease. To that end, the Japanese Onco-Cardiology Society was established in 2017 to further strengthen collaboration between cardiologists and oncologists to move cardio-oncology forward. The medical societies led by Komuro and Ishiola will continue to work together to create registries and increase an exchange of views between cardiologists and oncologists to design and conduct studies, as well as develop evidence-based guidelines for cardio-oncology. "Our societies will continue efforts to reduce the growing burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer and to make cardio-oncology blossom in Japan," they write.

In the second paper, Komuro, Toru Oka, MD, PhD, et al., discuss how Japan has focused on reducing the burden of cancer by creating 402 cancer hospitals since 2007. In 2010, the first "onco-cardiology" unit was launched as part of growing awareness of the cardiovascular impacts on outcomes and quality of life in cancer patients and survivors. Since the inaugural unit, cardio-oncology units have become more widespread in Japan. Medical societies within the country are working together to further establish these units to provide high-quality medical care and coordinate medical education, training and research across the globe. According to the authors, "the importance of cardio-oncology will definitely continue to increase more and more in Japan, where an epidemic of cancer and cardiovascular disease is emerging because of the aging of the population."

Clinical Topics: Cardio-Oncology

Keywords: ACC International, Survivors, Japan, Medical Oncology, Cardio-oncology, Cardiotoxicity

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