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Cardio Oncology

By 2020, there are forecasted to be 18 million cancer survivors.

With the advancement of new complex cancer therapies, we have gained an better understanding of the impact cancer treatment has on certain heart conditions, including arrhythmias, valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. We also have a better idea for which conditions might begin as a result of cancer treatment. Cardio-oncology is a multidisciplinary field aimed at managing cardiovascular risk and preventing cardiovascular disease in cancer patients and survivors with a goal to eliminate cardiac disease as a barrier to effective cancer therapy.

At USF Health, in affilation with Moffitt Cancer Center, an NCI designated Cancer Center,our cardio-oncologists diagnose and care for patients undergoing chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, or radiation therapy as well as cancer survivors since many complications may not become apparent for many years after completion of treatment. Common therapies that may lead to cardiovascular complications include:
  • Anthracyclines (doxorubicin, daunorubicin, Adriamycin, etc.)
  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin) or Pertuzumab (Perjeta)
  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (nilotinib, pontatinib, etc.
  • VEGF Inhibitors (sunitinib, axitinib, etc.)
  • Proteasome Inhibitors (carfilzomib)
  • Immunotherapy (checkpoint inhibitors including ipilimumab, nivolumab,  pembrolizumab, etc.)
  • Radiation to the chest, breast or head/neck regions

Our Cardio Oncology program ensures optimal collaboration with both cardiology and oncology experts. Our patients continue to receive necessary and life-saving cancer treatments while we work to mitigate the risk to the heart and cardiovascular system. We evaluate patients for cardiovascular disease though diagnostic testing to screen for new or progressive cardiotoxic effects (using state-of-the art technology including 3D and strain echocardiography and cardiac MRI), and pharmacologic or procedural interventions (i.e. cardiac catheterization, electrophysiologic procedures or surgery) if necessary.