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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 134679, 13 pages
Review Article

Cardiovascular Effects in Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated with Anthracyclines

1Division of Pediatric Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Medical Campus-BCRI-D820, 1580 NW 10th Avenue, 5th Floor, Miami, FL 33136, USA
2Holtz Children's Hospital of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL 33136, USA
3Department of Pediatrics (D820), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101, USA
4Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, 1601 NW 12th Ave, 9th floor (D820), USA

Received 15 October 2010; Accepted 15 December 2010

Academic Editor: Jean-Bernard Durand

Copyright © 2011 Vivian I. Franco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anthracyclines are commonly used to treat childhood leukemias and lymphomas, as well as other malignancies, leading to a growing population of long-term childhood cancer survivors. However, their use is limited by cardiotoxicity, increasing survivors' vulnerability to treatment-related complications that can markedly affect their quality of life. Survivors are more likely to suffer from heart failure, coronary artery disease, and cerebrovascular accidents compared to the general population. The specific mechanisms of anthracycline cardiotoxicity are complex and remain unclear. Hence, determining the factors that may increase susceptibility to cardiotoxicity is of great importance, as is monitoring patients during and after treatment. Additionally, treatment and prevention options, such as limiting cumulative dosage, liposomal anthracyclines, and dexrazoxane, continue to be explored. Here, we review the cardiovascular complications associated with the use of anthracyclines in treating malignancies in children and discuss methods for preventing, screening, and treating such complications in childhood cancer survivors.