OPEN The Korean journal of internal medicine | 6 Jul 2016
WB Chung and HJ Youn
Cardiotoxicity is a well-known complication following treatment with anthracyclines. However, they are still widely used in chemotherapy for breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and sarcoma, among others. Patient clinical characteristics, such as age, sex, comorbidities, anthracycline dose and infusion schedule, and the combined anti-cancer agents used, are diverse among cancer types. It is difficult to recommend guidelines for the prevention or management of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity applicable to all cancer types. Therefore, anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity remains a major limitation in the proper management of cancer patients treated with an anthracycline-combined regimen. Efforts have been extensive to determine the mechanism and treatment of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. Because cardiotoxicity causes irreversible damage to the myocardium, prevention is a more effective approach than treatment of cardiotoxicity after symptomatic or asymptomatic cardiac dysfunction develops. This article will review the pathophysiological mechanisms of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity and strategies for protecting the myocardium from anthracycline.
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