Recent advances in cancer management have improved long-term survival. Increased longevity has been accompanied by a rise in the frequency of age-related cardiovascular disease and treatment-related cardiotoxicity. Chemotherapy-related left ventricular dysfunction has historically been considered resistant to conventional therapy and to carry a poorer prognosis than other cardiomyopathies. However, these conclusions were drawn primarily from trials that predate contemporary heart failure therapy and where treatment was often initiated only after the development of symptoms. More recent data suggest that selected forms of chemotherapy-related cardiomyopathy are, to some degree, reversible, but response is dependent on early detection and prompt intervention. This challenges us to develop more sophisticated risk stratification and monitoring strategies that include symptom detection, noninvasive imaging, and carefully applied biomarkers. This paradigm also suggests that a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists and oncologists may provide more comprehensive care to this complex patient population.
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