Cardio-Oncology: The Intersection of cancer and cardiovascular disease

Dr. Vik Gongidi is cutting through the noise

The New Paradigm

Heart disease and cancer aren't just leading causes of death in the U.S.; they're often intertwined, transforming many terminal cancers into chronic, manageable diseases. Dr. Gongidi's work emphasizes a collaborative approach between cardiologists and oncologists to identify and manage risks.

The Problem Space

Chemotherapeutic agents like Daunorubicin, Trastuzumab, and proteasome inhibitors are saving lives but at a cost—cardiotoxicity. Up to 5% of cancer survivors develop chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy, which has a grim survival rate.

Diagnostic Tools

The focus is on early diagnosis and treatment. Tools like Tissue Doppler Imaging and Speckle Tracking Strain Imaging are game-changers in detecting Left Ventricle (LV) dysfunction. Myocardial strain technology can detect issues three months before they manifest as LV dysfunction.


Troponin and BNP levels have shown potential as early indicators of cardiac dysfunction. Especially in patients undergoing anthracycline treatment, elevated levels of these markers can be harbingers of cardiac issues.

Treatment Strategies

For medication protocols, dose adjustments and slow infusions are essential. Dexrazoxane has proven to be a protective agent against anthracycline-induced toxicity, but it has its limitations. Using targeted therapies like ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers has shown to decrease the incidence of heart failure.

Risk Mitigation

There is no "safe dose" of anthracycline, but risk can be mitigated. Slow infusion methods and drugs with anti-oxidative properties like Carvedilol and nebivolol can be used to counteract cardiotoxicity. Statins and other novel agents are also showing promise.

Cutting-Edge Guidelines

New guidelines and protocols are emerging in the cardio-oncology space. These protocols use the latest imaging techniques and biomarkers to assess risk proactively.

Dr. Gongidi's work is on the cutting edge, redefining our understanding of cardio-oncology. It's not just about treating cancer or heart disease; it's about treating the patient holistically. This synergy between cardiology and oncology could very well become the new gold standard in healthcare, blending innovation with patient care.

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