Advancement in cancer therapy including chemotherapeutic agents and radiation therapy has reduced cancer-related morbidity and mortality and has significantly increased survival rates. However, these therapies can lead to clinically significant cardiac disease that may not manifest until years after treatment. Cardiovascular disease has now become the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among long-term survivors of cancer.
As research advances, we are now able to identify patients at higher risk for developing cardiovascular injury, provide appropriate surveillance, and initiate early treatment when needed. The Cardio-Oncology Program at the MUHC, one of a select few of its kind in the country, has been developed for this purpose. The program includes both clinical and research components.
The goals of our program are to closely monitor various aspects of heart health in cancer patients at risk providing state-of-the- art screening and diagnostic tests and to begin treatment when appropriate using the best therapies available simultaneously allowing continuation and completion of cancer treatment which is vital for survival.
To provide care for patients with a cardiovascular history (such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, etc) who now have to undergo cancer treatment (with agents such as anthracycline, herceptin, VEGF-inhibitors or radiation therapy).
To provide care for patients who present with any cardiovascular symptoms, heart failure or arrhythmias following traditional treatments associated with cardiac dysfunction including anthracyclines, herceptin, and newer agents such as VEGF-inhibitors.
Study the utility of advanced imaging techniques for detection of subclinical cancer-therapy related micro- and macrovascular disease.