Cardio-Oncology: Taking Survival To Heart
The survival of patients with cancer has dramatically improved over the past 30 years with the introduction of new therapeutic agents. As a result, there is an impressive increase in the number of cancer survivors and it is expected that there will be over 18 million in the US by the year 2020. A growing array of complex new therapies allows for even better overall outcomes for patients being treated for cancer. However, these therapies do not come without toxicities and cardiovascular structures can frequently become involved. The good news is that providers are becoming increasingly aware of potential cardiac toxicities from various cancer treatments including arrhythmias, valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.
A group of specialized cardiologists, “Cardio-Oncologists”, have particular expertise in preventing and treating deleterious effects of the heart from cancer and cancer therapy, and can provide consultation in diagnostic testing, medical management, and interventional and surgical procedures. The Cardio-Oncology program at Washington University School of Medicine works closely with the Siteman Cancer Center to facilitate cancer therapy and limit any potential associated cardiac toxicities with the ultimate goal of of improving the survival and quality of life of our patients with cancer.
Cardio-Oncology Providers and Staff
A Cardio-Oncologist is a health care provider who is focused on the prevention, early detection, management, and recovery of cardiovascular function in patients receiving or having previously received cancer therapies.
Goals of the Cardio-Oncology Program:
- Partner with oncologists to provide rapid consultations utilizing our special expertise in the area of cancer-derived cardiotoxicity and work closely with them in situations where a combined approach is essential.
- Assist in screening for cardiac injury risk prior to initiating chemotherapy so that cardiac injury can be prevented or identified at the earliest opportunity to limit long-term harm.
- Minimize delays in arranging consultations and office visits. Cancer therapy cannot wait, and the goal of the program is to see new outpatients within one week or less.
- Coordination of care with the advanced heart failure program, as needed, for cardiac resynchronization therapy, circulatory assist devices, and cardiac transplantation.
- Dissemination of knowledge through educational programs in cardio-oncology to oncologists, cardiologists and physicians in training
- Creation of new knowledge through participation in multicenter clinical trials that are evaluating protocols for the detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiac toxicity in the setting of chemotherapy
- Improved surveillance of cardiac structure and function through the use of advanced cardiac imaging, including:
- Advanced echocardiographic imaging techniques through 3D quantification and myocardial strain-rate imaging
- Non-invasive evaluation of coronary artery disease through computer tomographic angiography (CTA)
- Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to evaluate myocardial fibrosis, inflammation, edema, and cardiac function
Make an appointment
Referring Physicians: 314-362-1291
Patients (please identify yourself as a cancer patient and specify if an urgent clinic visit is needed): 314-362-1291 or 888-210-8375
Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center
Center for Advanced Medicine
Washington University Medical Center
4921 Parkview Place Suite 8A
St. Louis, MO 63110
Heart & Vascular Center in South County
5201 Midamerica Plaza, Suite 2300
St. Louis, MO 63129
Heart & Vascular Center in West County
1020 North Mason, Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63141