News | April 10, 2013

Heart Surgery Increases Death Risk for Cancer Survivors who had Radiation Therapy

American Heart Association journal report explains greater risk

April 10, 2013 — Cancer survivors who had chest radiation are nearly twice as likely to die in the years after having major heart surgery as similar patients who didn't have radiation, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Chest radiation to kill or shrink breast cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma and other cancers increases survivors' risk for major heart disease years — even decades — after radiation therapy.

"While radiation treatments done on children and adults in the late 1960s, '70s and '80s played an important role in cancer survival, the treatment often takes a toll on the heart," said Milind Desai, M.D., the study’s author and associate professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "Survivors are at greater risk than people who do not have radiation to develop progressive coronary artery disease, aggressive valvular disease, as well as pericardial diseases, which affect the heart's surrounding structures. These conditions often require major cardiac surgery."

The study is the largest on how prior radiation affects long-term results from major heart surgery.

Researchers reviewed 173 patients who had radiation treatment for cancer an average 18 years before needing heart surgery. They followed the heart surgery patients an average 7.6 years and compared them to 305 patients undergoing similar heart surgeries who didn't have radiation therapy.

"These are major open-heart procedures, including valve or bypass procedures, and a vast majority had multiple simultaneous procedures, for example, multiple valve surgeries or valve plus bypass," said Desai. "About a quarter of the patients had redo surgeries, which puts them at even higher risk than those having the initial procedures."

Radiation patients had similar pre-surgical risk scores as non-radiated patients. Typically, preoperative risk scores help determine how patients will fare after surgery.

Patients had similar results in the first 30 days after major cardiac surgery regardless of their prior radiation status. However, during an average 7.6 years of follow-up, 55 percent of patients in the radiation group died, compared to 28 percent in the non-radiation group.

"These findings tell us that if you had radiation, your likelihood of dying after major cardiac surgery is high," said Desai. "That's despite going into the surgery with a relatively low risk score. In patients who have had prior thoracic radiation, we need to develop better strategies of identifying appropriate patients that would benefit from surgical intervention. Alternatively, some patients might be better suited for percutaneous procedures."

For more information: www.heart.org

Related Content

DOSIsoft Releases ISOgray Proton Therapy Treatment Planning System
Technology | Treatment Planning | August 15, 2017
DOSIsoft SA announced the official release, with CE marking, of ISOgray Treatment Planning System (TPS) release 4.3 for...
First Radixact Results Presented at AAPM 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | August 10, 2017
Accuray Inc. announced that the first studies validating the benefits of the Radixact System were presented at the 59th...
MRI Reveals Striking Brain Differences in People with Genetic Autism

Example images for a control participant , a deletion carrier, and a duplication carrier. In the sagittal image of the deletion carrier, the thick corpus callosum, dens and craniocervical abnormality, and cerebellar ectopia are shown. For the duplication carrier, the sagittal image shows the thin corpus callosum and the axial image shows the increased ventricle size and decreased white matter volume. Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

News | Neuro Imaging | August 09, 2017
August 9, 2017 — In the first major study of its kind, researchers using magnetic...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
Aktina’s interchangeable cones are lightweight and extremely accurate
News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2017
Aktina Medical announced a collaboration with Philips Medical Systems and Elekta Instruments for SRS interlocking at...
brain with chronic traumatic injury
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 02, 2017
Fighters are exposed to repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which has been associated with neurodegenerative...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
Accuray Receives 510(k) Clearance for iDMS Data Management System
Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | July 31, 2017
July 31, 2017 — Accuray Inc. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area

NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area. Image courtesy of David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., University of Florida.

News | Neuro Imaging | July 31, 2017
Scientists at the University of Florida have discovered a new method of observing the brain changes caused by Parkinson...
Overlay Init