Drug-related cardiotoxicity for the treatment of haematological malignancies in elderly

Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(26):2872-9. doi: 10.2174/138161210793176446.


Several publications have focused on the cardiotoxicity of specific classes of hematological therapeutic agents such as antracyclines and cyclofosfamide. Cardiotoxicity of cancer chemotherapeutics is a problem for patients of all ages, but it increases with age. Toxicity can also develop months after the last chemotherapy dose, and late reactions can be seen years later when they present as new-onset cardiomyopathy. No data are available about the cardiotoxicity of non-chemotherapy agents currently used as preferred therapy for hematological malignancy in elderly. In this review we have provided a summary of the cardiovascular toxic effects produced by different drugs and therapeutic agents. Early identification of patients who are at risk for cardiotoxicity should be a primary goal for hematologists in the development of personalized antineoplastic therapeutic strategies or interventions. Thus, the discovery of new biomarkers to identify patients at a high risk for the development of these complications is a high priority. Although targeted therapies such as imatinib and anti-CD20 antibody such rituximab are considered less toxic and better tolerated by patients compared with classic chemotherapy drugs, certain cardiological complications can be very serious and as these agents have been in use for a limited period of time.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cardiotoxins / administration & dosage
  • Cardiotoxins / adverse effects*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cardiotoxins