Patients with blood cancer who are treated with standard chemotherapy are at an increased risk of heart failure, according to a study published in JACC: CardioOncology.
Researchers analyzed data from 450 patients with two different types of blood cancer. Then, they developed a risk score based on six clinically relevant variables and a measure of strain on the heart muscles calculated by echocardiography.
One of clinical measures was a cumulative anthracycline dose, which has been shown to be toxic when high doses are administered in a short amount of time. The risk score ranged from 0 to 21, and patients were then split into three subgroups based on their risk scores. Of the 450 patients, 318 classified as low risk (a score of 0 to 6), 112 as moderate (7 to 13), and 20 as high risk (14 to 21) for heart failure.
Sixty-five percent of patients classified as high risk developed heart failure, while only 1% of low risk patients did. Additional research is needed to determine how effective the scoring system is in clinical practice. The study was funded by NHLBI.