An ever-increasing array of chemotherapeutic agents is being used in the treatment of solid organ or hematologic malignancies. The success of many of these agents has led to an increasing survival of patients with cancer. However, many of these agents, particularly anthracyclines and trastuzumab, are associated with the development of cardiotoxicity. The current standard for the evaluation of chemotherapy-associated cardiotoxicity typically involves the use of serial measurements of left ventricular (LV) function by echocardiogram (Echo) and radionuclide ventriculogram (MUGA). Unfortunately, this time-honored method offers low sensitivity to the early prediction or detection of cardiac events. Frequently, by the time cardiotoxicity is detected, significant LV dysfunction has occurred and ultimately this may not respond to standard cardioprotective treatment. Cardiac biomarkers, troponin I and B-type natriuretic peptide, may allow a more accurate and timely monitoring strategy. The current data and a summarized understanding of how to utilize cardiac biomarkers for the prevention and early detection of cardiac dysfunction during chemotherapy are presented.
- B-Type natriuretic peptide