With an increase in the number of patients surviving many years following successful cancer treatment, has come an improved understanding of the long-term effects of cancer therapy and its implications on future health. Premature cardiovascular disease is a significant cause of early morbidity and the leading non-cancer cause of death in this population. Chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapy are known to be cardiotoxic. However, numerous vascular-related toxicities have also been observed among cancer survivors, such as myocardial ischemia, transient ischemic attacks, and stroke, suggesting a degree of chronic endothelial injury and dysfunction leading to premature atherosclerotic disease. Vascular health in cancer survivors may be further compromised by metabolic abnormalities such as obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemias which have also been reported following cancer therapy. Furthermore, some survivors experience gonadal dysfunction and loss of potentially protective sex steroids or undergo hormonal therapies that induce additional metabolic abnormalities. The effects of cancer therapies upon the endothelial monolayer have not been fully explored. An understanding of potential injury to and dysfunction of the circulatory system among cancer survivors is essential for identifying preventive strategies and therapeutic targets.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study has been supported by the National Cancer Institute (Cancer Center Support, CORE, Grant number CA 21765; the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), Memphis, TN; and the Children's Cancer Research Fund, Minneapolis, MN.
- Arterial stiffness
- Vascular late effects