Recent Perspectives on Cardiovascular Toxicity Associated with Colorectal Cancer Drug Therapy

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2023 Oct 11;16(10):1441. doi: 10.3390/ph16101441.


Cardiotoxicity is a well-known adverse effect of cancer-related therapy that has a significant influence on patient outcomes and quality of life. The use of antineoplastic drugs to treat colorectal cancers (CRCs) is associated with a number of undesirable side effects including cardiac complications. For both sexes, CRC ranks second and accounts for four out of every ten cancer deaths. According to the reports, almost 39% of patients with colorectal cancer who underwent first-line chemotherapy suffered cardiovascular impairment. Although 5-fluorouracil is still the backbone of chemotherapy regimen for colorectal, gastric, and breast cancers, cardiotoxicity caused by 5-fluorouracil might affect anywhere from 1.5% to 18% of patients. The precise mechanisms underlying cardiotoxicity associated with CRC treatment are complex and may involve the modulation of various signaling pathways crucial for maintaining cardiac health including TKI ErbB2 or NRG-1, VEGF, PDGF, BRAF/Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, and the PI3/ERK/AMPK/mTOR pathway, resulting in oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and apoptosis, ultimately damaging cardiac tissue. Thus, the identification and management of cardiotoxicity associated with CRC drug therapy while minimizing the negative impact have become increasingly important. The purpose of this review is to catalog the potential cardiotoxicities caused by anticancer drugs and targeted therapy used to treat colorectal cancer as well as strategies focused on early diagnosing, prevention, and treatment of cardiotoxicity associated with anticancer drugs used in CRC therapy.

Keywords: 5-fluorouracil; apoptosis; cardiotoxicity; chemotherapy; colorectal cancer; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.