Cardio-Oncology Services: rationale, organization, and implementation

Eur Heart J. 2019 Jun 7;40(22):1756-1763. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehy453.


Aims: Anticancer therapies have extended the lives of millions of patients with malignancies, but for some this benefit is tempered by adverse cardiovascular (CV) effects. Cardiotoxicity may occur early or late after treatment initiation or termination. The extent of this cardiotoxicity is variable, depending on the type of drug used, combination with other drugs, mediastinal radiotherapy, the presence of CV risk factors, and comorbidities. A recent position paper from the European Society of Cardiology addressed the management of CV monitoring and management of patients treated for cancer.

Methods and results: The current document is focused on the basis of the Cardio-Oncology (C-O) Services, presenting their rationale, organization, and implementation. C-O Services address the spectrum of prevention, detection, monitoring, and treatment of cancer patients at risk of cardiotoxicity and/or with concomitant CV diseases. These services require a multidisciplinary approach, with the aims of promoting CV health and facilitating the most effective cancer therapy.

Conclusion: The expected growing volume of patients with cancer at risk of developing/worsening CV disease, the advent of new technological opportunities to refine diagnosis, and the necessity of early recognition of cancer therapy-related toxicity mandate an integrative multidisciplinary approach and care in a specialized environment. This document from the ESC Cardio-Oncology council proposes the grounds for creating C-O Services in Europe based on expert opinion.

Keywords: Cancer; Cardio-oncology; Management; Services.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology / education
  • Cardiology / organization & administration*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / education
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Patient Care Team