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Cardio drug could reduce chemotherapy effect on children’s hearts

A cardioprotective drug could help prevent long-term heart damage in children who receive chemotherapy, say researchers in the United States.
Cardioprotective drug can reduce chemotherapy effect on children's hearts

A cardioprotective drug could help prevent long-term heart damage in children who receive chemotherapy, say researchers in the United States.

When the team reviewed the medical literature, they found that anthracyclines among the most commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs for children with cancer are effective but increase the risk of damaging the heart.

They also found that the cardioprotective agent dexrazoxane can prevent many of the toxic effects of chemotherapy treatment, without reducing the anti-cancer effect.

Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Childrens Hospital of Michigan lead study author Steven Lipshultz says the review: 'defines that the price of treatment for childhood cancer for many survivors is persistent, often progressive, and pervasive cardiotoxicity for those treated with anthracycline chemotherapy,

This can be ameliorated or

...

A cardioprotective drug could help prevent long-term heart damage in children who receive chemotherapy, say researchers in the United States.  

Cardioprotective drug can reduce chemotherapy effect on children's hearts
Cardioprotective agent dexrazoxane can prevent many of the toxic effects of chemotherapy treatment. Photo: IStock

When the team reviewed the medical literature, they found that anthracyclines – among the most commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs for children with cancer – are effective but increase the risk of damaging the heart.

They also found that the cardioprotective agent dexrazoxane can prevent many of the toxic effects of chemotherapy treatment, without reducing the anti-cancer effect.

Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan lead study author Steven Lipshultz says the review: 'defines that the price of treatment for childhood cancer for many survivors is persistent, often progressive, and pervasive cardiotoxicity for those treated with anthracycline chemotherapy,’ 

‘This can be ameliorated or prevented by the drug dexrazoxane when given immediately before each anthracycline dose,' he adds. 

The study findings indicate that the use of dexrazoxane can allow anthracyclines to be given more safely and at higher doses without risking cardiomyopathy, heart failure, heart attacks, valve disease, pericardial disease, hypertension and other cardiovascular-related conditions.

‘More children with cancer who are treated with anthracyclines may be cured of their malignancy and with less chemotherapy-associated toxicity and late effects,’ Dr Lipshultz says. 


Hutchins K et al (2016) Prevention of cardiotoxicity among survivors of childhood cancer. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. doi: 10.1111/bcp.13120

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