Cardiotoxic effects of chemotherapy: A review of both cytotoxic and molecular targeted oncology therapies and their effect on the cardiovascular system

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Cardiotoxic effects of chemotherapy and targeted drugs are ubiquitous and challenging in the field of oncology therapeutics. The broad spectrum of toxicities ranging from ischemic, hypertensive, cardiomyopathic, and arrhythmic complications can present as a significant challenge for clinicians treating cancer patients. If early diagnosis and intervention of cardiotoxic complications is missed, this can lead to delay or abrogation of planned treatment, which can potentially culminate to significant morbidity due to not only the cardiotoxic complications but also the progression of cancer. Hence, full knowledge of cardiovascular complications of chemotherapeutic agents, essential diagnostics tests to order, and appropriate management is paramount to oncologist, oncology pharmacists, and scientific clinical investigators. The aforementioned is particularly true in the current oncology era of plenteous early clinical trials studying several pathway/molecular-targeting agents with an increased cardiotoxic potential and the rapid expedited approval of those drugs by the FDA. Herein, we present a review discussing cardiotoxic effects of drugs and guidelines for management of the toxicities to assist the medical field in general managing patients with cancer.


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