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…known cardioprotective intervention, exercise training, with Calorie Restriction (CR) results in additive benefits in the protection against doxorubicin cardiotoxicity.
Doxorubicin as well as other chemotherapy regimens can damage the cancer patient’s heart. That much is well-documented. The issue for people reading this post is what, if anything, cancer patients and survivors can do about it. Before I go into possible therapies let me explain what cardotoxicity is.
Cardiotoxic chemotherapy refers to the side effects of certain chemotherapy drugs that can potentially harm the heart. Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that involves using powerful drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. While it’s effective at targeting rapidly dividing cancer cells, it can also affect healthy cells in the body, including those in the heart.
Some chemotherapy drugs are known to have cardiotoxic effects, meaning they can cause damage to the heart muscle or other parts of the cardiovascular system. This can lead to a range of cardiac problems, including:
It’s important to note that not all chemotherapy drugs have the same level of cardiotoxicity, and the risk depends on various factors including the specific drugs used, the dosage, the patient’s overall health, and any pre-existing heart conditions.
First and foremost, I don’t believe that only some cancer patients who undergo doxorubicin or other known cardiotoxic chemo regimens experience damage to their heart muscle. I think all patients who undergo cardiotoxic chemotherapy experience at least some heart damage…the issue is how and when this damage shows itself.
In my case, I underwent A LOT of cardiotoxic regimens. I was young (35) and in pretty good shape so my heart damage appeared about 15 years after I underwent a chemo-cocktail called vincristine, adriamycin, and doxorubicin (VAD).
While heart damage was hinted at during my active VAD treatment, obvious symptoms such as chemotherapy-induced atrial fibrillation did not occur until late 2010.
According to the article linked and excerpted below, exercise and calorie restriction can reduce the known heart-damaging effects of doxorubicin.
To learn more about cardiotoxic chemotherapy- read the posts below-
Are you considering cardiotoxic chemo? Have you already undergone cardiotoxic chemo and are wondering what you can do about it Let me know.
“Doxorubicin (DOX) is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent with known cardiotoxic properties, while calorie restriction (CR) and exercise have well-documented cardioprotective effects. No studies have investigated the effects of CR alone or the combined effects of CR and exercise on DOX cardiotoxicity…
Cardiotoxicity associated with the use of anthracyclines such as DOX is a major clinical dilemma, and it is the primary reason for terminating their use during the course of cancer treatment. Continued use of these chemotherapeutic agents may be considered if there are effective strategies to mitigate cardiotoxic effects, which for some patients may be the best treatment option…
Conclusion-This is the first study to demonstrate that CR can reduce cardiac DOX accumulation, and confirms the protective role of CR against DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction. Our data also show that combining a known cardioprotective intervention, exercise training, with CR results in additive benefits in the protection against DOX cardiotoxicity.
Based on the fact that these interventions reduce cardiac DOX accumulation, it is possible that cardioprotection is mediated through the attenuation of multiple DOX-induced damaging pathways. In addition, a number of studies have demonstrated that CR is a potent and reproducible intervention for cancer prevention. Clinical studies58 are indeed underway to assess the protective effects of aerobic exercise and CR against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity, and the data presented here support further clinical studies into these cardioprotective interventions for cancer survivors.”