Latest Cancer News
"We think this is practice-changing. This will improve the safety of the cancer treatment that we provide," study co-investigator Edith Pituskin, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release.
The heart medications not only protect the heart, but may also improve breast cancer patient survival rates by reducing the number of times chemotherapy needs to be interrupted, according to study leader Dr. Ian Paterson, a cardiologist at the Alberta Heart Institute and an associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of Alberta.
If a patient shows signs of heart weakening, chemotherapy is halted -- sometimes for one or two months -- until heart function returns to normal, he explained.
"We are aiming for two outcomes for these patients -- we're hoping to prevent heart failure and we're hoping for them to receive all the chemotherapy that they are meant to get, when they are supposed to get it -- to improve their odds of remission and survival," Paterson said in the news release.
The findings were to be presented Wednesday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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SOURCE: University of Alberta, news release, Dec. 9, 2015