Chemotherapy-induced Cardiomyopathy- How long have I got?

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Chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy (CI-CM) is the most frequent complication of cytotoxic drugs cardiotoxicity and portends a poor prognosis”

According to the study below, Chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy portends a poor prognosis. Do you think they mean CI-CM used to portend a poor prognosis or CI-CM portends a poor prognosis even with “modern heart failure therapy?”

More to the point, what do you think is a poor prognosis anyway?

I was diagnosed with CI-CM at the beginning of this year. I developed chronic atrial fibrillation in late 2010. I don’t know if I had CI-CM when I was diagnosed with A-fib. My point is that I don’t know if I’ve had CI-CM since 2010 (nine years as of the writing of this post) or about four months based on my diagnosis of CI-CM as of January of this year.

I’m going to be conservative and say that I’ve had CI-CM for less than 4 months. But I will be aggressive and say that I consider my prognosis to be a lot more than the 5-10 years discussed in the study below. I’m currently 59 years of age. Here is what I consider to be my evidence-based, non-conventional CI-CM therapies to be:

  • I exercise frequently but moderately-
  • I don’t smoke or drink (to be honest, I drink about 3 glasses of wine weekly)-
  • My diet and lifestyle are pretty healthy. I’ve been working at this health thing for awhile now- I am a long-term survivor of an incurable blood cancer-
  • I’ve learned that there are many evidence-based supplements that are heart healthy- CoQ10, Taurine, Cocoa, and many more…

I was on a beta blocker for a short time when I was diagnosed with A-fib. I’m not sure why my doctor prescribed this med to me as my heart rate and blood pressure were below normal. The beta blocker made me feel lousy and discontinued this medication. However, it is important to state that I am all cardiomyopathy patients should include conventional heart therapies when needed.

I guess what I’m saying is that I will research and include as many evidence-based, non-toxic heart healthy therapies into my regimen as possible before I pursue toxic therapies.

To answer the question in the subject line- “how long have I got?” According to the study below, I will be beating the averages if I make it for another ten years.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy? When where you diagnosed? What are your symptoms? To learn more about heart healthy evidence-based, non-toxic therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Surivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Improving survival of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy in the modern heart failure therapy era

Chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy (CI-CM) is the most frequent complication of cytotoxic drugs cardiotoxicity and portends a poor prognosis: old studies on small populations, mainly treated with digoxin and diuretics, reported a 2-year mortality rate of about 60%. Recent data, however, show a fundamental role of an early treatment with the modern heart failure (HF) therapy as a determinant of recovery from CI-CM

From 1990 to 2012 we enrolled 62 consecutive pts (32,3% M, age 49±14 y) with CI-CM. Follow up was 70±62 months. At baseline mean left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) was 39.5±10%, LV end diastolic diameter index 32.1±5 mm/m2, NYHA class 2.6±1.2…

Mean time from last antineoplastic treatment dose and CI-CM diagnosis was 39±64 months. A late-onset cardiotoxicity was reported in the majority of pts with LV dilatation/dysfunction occurring even after 23 years…

At the end of follow up

  • 64,5% of pts were receiving ACE-inhibitors,
  • 18% ARBs and
  • 90% betablockers (BB):

the mean dose was 67%, 75% and 39% of the HF guidelines recommended dosage, respectively. Mineral corticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) were administered in 45% of pts; 76% received ACEI/ARBs plus BB and 42% of them were also on MRA…

Results: The combined end-point of all cause death/heart transplantation was reached in 25 pts (40,3%): 23.8% of deaths were due to refractory HF, 14.3% were non cardiac/cancer-related and 61.9% non cardiac/possibly cancer-related. Overall survival was 72,6% at 5 years, 47,7% at 10 years.

Conclusions: Our data show an improvement in survival of CI-CM pts with respect to data available in current literature. This finding presumably reflects the impact of evidence-based treatment of HF over the years, confirming the relevance of a widespread use of such therapies in early phases of cardiotoxicity related LV dysfunction






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