News | March 22, 2013

Collaboration Between Cancer and Heart Physicians Essential for Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy

March 22, 2013 — A new report that breast cancer patients treated with low doses of radiation therapy have a heightened risk of heart disease suggests that physicians need to work with patients before, during, and after treatment to minimize that risk, according to an accompanying editorial in the March 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The editorial, by Javid Moslehi, M.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, states that while radiation therapy has played a key role in reducing breast cancer mortality rates, the new study shows that such therapy — even at the low doses used in modern treatments — carries greater potential for producing long-term heart problems than was previously known. The study, led by researchers at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, found that the potential heart-harming effects of radiation therapy were especially pronounced in women who were at greater risk of a heart attack prior to the therapy.

That finding is particularly important because there are a variety of steps women — and men — can take to reduce their overall risk of heart disease, writes Moslehi, who is the director of cardio-oncology in Dana-Farber’s Adult Survivorship Program. These include keeping one’s weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication.

The findings highlight the need for cancer and heart physicians to collaborate in the treatment of breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, Moslehi concludes. “An important lesson for the oncologist may be that the time to address concerns about cardiovascular ‘survivorship’ is at the time of cancer diagnosis and before treatment rather than after completion of therapy,” he writes. “Similarly, cardiologists need to assess prior exposure to radiation therapy as a significant cardiovascular risk factor in survivors of breast cancer.”

For more information: www.dana-farber.org

Related Content

Accuray Incorporated announced that Mercy Hospital St. Louis continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving patient outcomes with the installation of the first CyberKnife M6 System in Missouri at their state-of-the-art David C. Pratt Cancer Center
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | February 27, 2020
February 27, 2020 — Accuray Incorporated announced that Mercy
Christopher Comstock, M.D., ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group study published in JAMA builds evidence for use of abbreviated MRI in women with dense breasts

Christopher Comstock, M.D., (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) is the lead author of a paper in JAMA that reports that abbreviated breast MRI detected significantly more (almost 2 and a half times as many) breast cancers than digital breast tomosynthesis (3-D mammography) in average-risk women with dense breasts. Photo courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

News | Breast Imaging | February 26, 2020
February 26, 2020 — According to a study
Women 75-plus May Not Benefit from Breast Cancer Screening
News | Mammography | February 25, 2020
February 25, 2020 — According to newly published research in an article titled...
An example of the MRI scans showing long-term and short-term survival indications. #MRI

An example of the MRI scans showing long-term and short-term survival indications. Image courtesy of Case Western Reserve University

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 21, 2020
February 21, 2020 — ...
Recognized as the “Pulitzer Prize of the business press,” the Jesse H. Neal Award finalists are selected for exhibiting journalistic enterprise, service to the industry and editorial craftsmanship
News | Radiology Business | February 19, 2020
February 19, 2020 — Connectiv, a division of The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), has announced
Arizona State University researchers (in collaboration with Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center) have discovered a biocompatible cost-effective hydrogel that can be used to monitor therapeutic doses of ionizing radiation by becoming more pink with increasing radiation exposure

Arizona State University researchers (in collaboration with Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center) have discovered a biocompatible cost-effective hydrogel that can be used to monitor therapeutic doses of ionizing radiation by becoming more pink with increasing radiation exposure. This picture shows a circle of hydrogel that was irradiated on the left half, which is slightly pink; whereas the right half of the gel is not irradiated and remains colorless.

News | Radiation Therapy | February 18, 2020
February 18, 2020 — More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical.
Varian announced it has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Ethos therapy, an Adaptive Intelligence solution. Ethos therapy is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven holistic solution that provides an opportunity to transform cancer care.
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | February 11, 2020
February 11, 2020 — Varian announced it has received FDA 510(k) c
Mammograms of a 49-year-old woman with invasive lobular carcinoma on the right-side breast

Mammograms of a 49-year-old woman with invasive lobular carcinoma on the right-side breast. A small mass with micro-calcifications on the right-side breast was detected correctly by AI with an abnormality score of 96%. This case was recalled by 7 out of 14 radiologists (4 breast radiologists and 3 general radiologists) initially (without AI) and all 14 radiologists recalled this case correctly with the assistance of AI.

News | Artificial Intelligence | February 11, 2020
February 11, 2020 — A new study, published in...