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Primary Prevention Strategies For Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity: A Brief Overview

Pierantonio Menna, Emanuela Salvatorelli

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The clinical use of doxorubicin and other antitumor anthracyclines is limited by a dose-related risk of cardiomyopathy and heart failure which may occur “on treatment” or any time, from months to years, after completing chemotherapy. Dose reductions diminish the incidence of cardiac events attributable to anthracyclines, but heart failure still occurs in some patients exposed to low or moderate anthracycline doses. Because anthracyclines improve the life expectancy of patients with, for example, breast cancer or lymphomas, preventing or diminishing the risk of early or delayed cardiotoxicity is of obvious clinical importance. Here, we briefly review some potential strategies of primary prevention that are based on what we know about the molecular mechanisms of cardiotoxicity, and what can be done, or might be done, to interfere with the pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and genetic determinants of cardiotoxicity.