We have been actively conducting research in chemotherapy related heart effects. Our work has been in breast cancer patients. Based on the breast cancer, oncologist recommend a specific chemotherapy. While still very rare, important cardiovascular complications, such as heart failure, of the treatment may be noticed.
The aim of our study was to determine early predictors of heart failure during chemotherapy in breast cancer by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and advanced Echocardiography to get a detailed understanding of how this therapy might affect the heart and this may provide a basis for finding early predictors of both acute and chronic heart disease.
We found that changes in heart function were observed at 12 months. There was also an association with blood tests reflecting heart damage and inflammation seen within the heart. We have not proven yet that those early changes predicted who would deteriorate in their heart function to a greater extent. We are in the process of bringing our patients back at 5 years now, to further study the effects these drugs had on the heart.