Onco-Cardiology Program

University Hospitals Offers Leading-Edge Care for Cancer Patients with Heart and Vascular Issues

The new collaborative Onco-Cardiology Program between University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio, provides cancer patients on cardiotoxic therapies with comprehensive cardiovascular evaluations and ongoing assessments throughout treatment. This innovative program is devoted to addressing a patient’s cardiovascular risk as they undergo cancer therapies that may affect cardiovascular function, thus minimizing heart and vascular issues and ultimately improving outcomes for cancer patients and survivors.

The most well known cardiac side effect of chemotherapy is left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) and heart failure from a class of drugs called anthracyclines used in chemotherapy treatment. Other serious complications can develop with the use of a wide range of cancer treatments, including:

Many of these side effects can occur during cancer treatment, while others may become apparent months or years after completing treatment. Therefore, prevention measures such as monitoring during cancer therapy and follow up screenings of cancer survivors are a key priority of the Onco-Cardiology Program.

In addition, cancer patients older than 60 are more likely to have pre-existing heart disease and cancer therapy may uncover or worsen cardiac issues in these patients. The experts with the Onco-Cardiology Program will careful monitor treatment protocols in these patients and may adjust treatment plans if heart issues develop.

Cancer Patients Benefit Greatly from University Hospitals Expertise

The cardiovascular and cancer experts at UH have identified cancer treatments that can also target molecular mechanisms in the heart, which can lead to heart dysfunction. The Onco-Cardiology Program at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute provides excellent benefits to cancer patients to address this growing concern about the impact of strong cancer treatment on heart function.

At the Onco-Cardiology Program:

  • All cancer patients are screened before initiating potentially cardiotoxic treatment, specifically anthracyclines, trastuzumab, VEGF inhibitors and radiation therapy.
  • Patients being treated with novel molecular-targeted therapies who may have potential adverse cardiovascular effects are carefully monitored.
  • Patients who are long-term cancer survivors receive follow up screening and possible treatment for cardiovascular conditions that may or may not be related to their past cancer treatment.
  • Physicians work closely with the oncologist to monitor and adjust therapy for patients who may have cardiac side effects from traditional cancer therapies.
  • Patients with pre-existing cardiovascular issues who have newly diagnosed cancer are shepherded safely through the medical and surgical treatment of their cancer.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment

As a complement to the renowned services delivered by UH Seidman Cancer Center, the Onco-Cardiology Program provides complete cardiac testing, outpatient and inpatient services. Our multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, oncologists, nurses and other health care professionals will work to:

  • Continually investigate and identify cardiovascular side effects of emerging cancer therapies, specifically that of molecular-targeted therapies
  • Deliver specialized care for cancer survivors with cancer therapy-related cardiovascular complications, such as chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy, radiation-induced coronary, pericardial and valvular disease, and arrhythmias
  • Prevent, monitor and treat all cardiovascular complications during cancer therapy, allowing patients to receive maximum, uninterrupted treatment for their cancer while protecting their cardiovascular health
  • Provide cardiovascular pre-operative consultation to cancer patients undergoing cancer-related surgical procedures
  • Reduce the cardiovascular risk for all patients undergoing potentially cardiotoxic cancer therapy and partnering with oncologists to ensure that each patient gets the most personalized treatment for their case
  • Study the pathophysiologic, clinical and epidemiologic aspects of known cardiovascular complications of existing cancer therapy and establish evidence-based strategies for these complications

University Hospitals Advanced Cardiac Monitoring Tools

Using the very latest advancements in cardiac monitoring, our experts can initiate treatment much sooner and prevent cardiac dysfunction while continuing cancer treatment. Powerful heart monitoring tools include:

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