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Cancer Health Center

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Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Late Effects of the Cardiovascular System


Other malignancies

Brain tumor: A study of self-reported late effects among 1,607 survivors of childhood brain tumors [61] showed that 18% of survivors reported a heart or circulatory late effect. Risk was highest among those treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, compared with those treated with surgery and radiation therapy alone, suggesting a potential additive vascular injury from chemotherapy. Children who receive spinal radiation for treatment of central nervous system (CNS) tumors have been demonstrated to show low maximal cardiac index on exercise testing and pathologic Q-waves in inferior leads on ECG testing, and higher posterior-wall stress.[62]

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML): In a study of ALL survivors in the CCSS cohort who reported a chronic medical condition , the risk of a cardiac condition was nearly sevenfold higher in ALL survivors than in siblings. No significant association was identified based on radiation exposure. A similar analysis among AML survivors in the cohort found the 20-year cumulative incidence of cardiac disease to be 4.7%. Adult survivors of childhood ALL have an increased prevalence of obesity and insulin resistance and may be at risk of developing diabetes, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome, all of which are potent risk factors for premature cardiovascular disease.[63]

Wilms tumor: A long-term follow-up study of Wilms tumor survivors reported a cumulative risk of CHF of 4.4% at 20 years for those who received doxorubicin as part of their initial therapy and 17.4% at 20 years when doxorubicin was received as part of therapy for relapsed disease. Risk factors for CHF in this cohort included female gender, lung irradiation with doses 20 Gy or higher, left-sided abdominal irradiation, and doxorubicin dosage of 300 mg/m2 or more.[10]

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT): Cardiac complications after bone marrow transplantation may occur, with arrhythmia, pericarditis, and cardiomyopathy predominating, although many are either acute or subacute effects. High-dose cyclophosphamide clearly is a causative agent; total-body irradiation is a secondary contributing factor.[45,60,64] In a report from the Bone Marrow Transplant Survivors Study that compared 145 HCT survivors, 7,207 conventionally treated survivors, and 4,020 siblings from the CCSS cohort,[65] median time from HCT to study participation was 11.0 years (range, 2.3-25.9 years). The prevalence of cardiovascular conditions (grades 3-5) was 4.8% in HCT survivors, versus 3.2% in conventionally treated CCSS survivors, and it was 0.5% (for grades 3-4) in the sibling control CCSS cohort. The RR was 0.5 (95% CI, 0.1-2.5) for the conventionally treated survivors versus HCT survivors, and 12.7 (95% CI, 5.4-30.0) for the HCT survivors versus siblings.

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