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J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2010 Dec;11(12):861-8. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e328336b4c1.

Women survive breast cancer but fall victim to heart failure: the shadows and lights of targeted therapy.

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Cardiology Division Institute, INT Fondazione G. Pascale, via M. Semmola, Naples, Italy.


In many cases, early-stage breast cancer is now curable, and metastatic disease can be chronic consequent to the advent of new therapeutic tools. Unfortunately, some treatments have been associated with adverse cardiovascular effects. Indeed, in many breast cancer survivors, the risk of cardiovascular disease is higher than the risk of cancer recurrence. The clinical challenge of preventing cardiovascular complications in patients undergoing antineoplastic treatment has two aims, more effective life-saving treatment of patients, and prevention of morbidity and cardiovascular mortality in the short term and long term. The aim of the present study is to review the rapidly evolving therapeutic strategies designed to treat early-stage breast cancer. The review highlights the need for more data on the impact of new biological drugs (targeted therapy) on the cardiovascular apparatus. Finally, given the complexity of targeted and other novel treatments, cancer patients are best managed through a multidisciplinary approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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