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

Video Plus Brochure Helps Patients Make Lung Cancer Scan Decision

Image courtesy of the American Thoracic Society

News | Lung Cancer | April 19, 2019
A short video describing the potential benefits and risks of low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung...
Surgically Guided Brachytherapy Improves Outcomes for Intracranial Neoplasms
News | Brachytherapy Systems | April 18, 2019
Peter Nakaji, M.D., FAANS, general practice neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, presented new research on...
ASTRO Applauds Introduction of PIMA Patient Protection Bill
News | Radiology Business | April 15, 2019
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) hailed the introduction of federal legislation that would...
Check-Cap Initiates U.S. Pilot Study of C-Scan for Colorectal Cancer Screening
News | Colonoscopy Systems | April 15, 2019
Check-Cap Ltd. has initiated its U.S. pilot study of the C-Scan system for prevention of colorectal cancer through...
Varian Discloses First Preclinical Results of Flash Therapy in Cancer Treatment
News | Proton Therapy | April 09, 2019
Varian, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology and the...
Deep Lens Closes Series A Financing for Digital AI Pathology Platform
News | Digital Pathology | April 09, 2019
Digital pathology company Deep Lens Inc. announced the closing of a $14 million Series A financing that will further...
Uterine Fibroid Embolization Safer and as Effective as Surgical Treatment
News | Interventional Radiology | April 05, 2019
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) effectively treats uterine fibroids with fewer post-procedure complications compared...
Varian Halcyon Commissioned at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center With IBA's myQA Halo
News | Quality Assurance (QA) | April 04, 2019
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) announced the successful commissioning of the Varian Halcyon at the Radiation Oncology...
Four of the top pieces of content in March included news on proton therapy, including a 360 image and videos from ITN's recent visit to the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center in the Chicago suburbs. This image shows the main proton treatment room gantry at the proton center in Warrenville, Ill. Interview with Mark Pankuch, Ph.D.

Four of the top pieces of content in March included news on proton therapy, including a 360 image and videos from ITN's recent visit to the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center in the Chicago suburbs. This image shows the main proton treatment room gantry at the proton center in Warrenville, Ill.
 

Feature | April 02, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor and A.J. Connell
April 2, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology News (ITN) magazine w
News | Biopsy Systems | March 29, 2019
Dune Medical Devices has just completed the first in-man cases for Smart Biopsy, its percutaneous soft tissue biopsy...