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Title: Radiation-related cardiovascular disease following cancer therapy
Author: Cutter, David J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 5479
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Introduction: Some cancer survivors are known to have an elevated risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. An important cause of this elevated risk is recognised to be irradiation of normal tissues during radiotherapy received as part of cancer therapy. There are substantial difficulties in studying radiation-related cardiovascular disease (RRCD). The reasons for this include the complexities of measuring radiation normal tissue doses retrospectively and the prolonged latencies of many of the cardiovascular endpoints. A variety of complimentary research methodologies can help provide additional knowledge to guide the appropriate management of patients treated in the past and of new patients in the future. Methods: 1) A cohort study of mortality from circulatory disease in the nationwide British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (BCCSS). 2) A case-control study of valvular heart disease (VHD) in Dutch Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors, including retrospective radiation dosimetry to estimate the radiation dose to heart valves. 3) A dosimetric study of cardiovascular radiation doses in patients entered into the UK NCRI Lymphoma Study Group RAPID trial, including predictions of 15-year cardiac mortality using innovative methods. 4) A modelling study to predict mean whole heart dose (MWHD) from involved field radiotherapy (IFRT) for HL using anatomical measures. 5) A prospective study using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to characterise the heart in women receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer. Results: 1) The risks of all types of circulatory mortality are elevated in survivors of childhood cancer. The absolute excess risks continue to increase 40+ years following diagnosis. The risk of death from cardiomyopathy and heart failure increased substantially with the introduction of anthracycline chemotherapy. There is no evidence of a reduction in risk of circulatory mortality in more recent eras of diagnosis. 2) There is a strong relationship between estimated radiation dose to the affected heart valve and the risk of subsequent VHD (p<0.001). This effect was modelled to allow prediction of the risk of VHD. 3) A proportion of patients treated with IFRT received a substantial cardiac radiation dose (MWHD = 8.8 Gy, SD = 5.6) but, on average, the predicted 15-year cardiac mortality following treatment is low (absolute risk 0.2%, range 0.0 to 2.7%). 4) It is possible to estimate the mean whole heart dose from IFRT prior to detailed radiotherapy planning based on pre-treatment diagnostic imaging to an accuracy of 5-6% of the prescribed dose. 5) Although women received low cardiac doses (MWHD = 1.5 Gy, SD = 0.8) and have a low predicted risk of cardiac radiation-related morbidity and mortality, there is some evidence of subclinical effects on strain and strain rate imaging of the anterior portions of the left ventricle that receive the highest radiation dose. Conclusions: Using a variety of methods these studies have all succeeded in adding to knowledge about the nature, magnitude and timing of RRCD. This knowledge can be used to help the future management of cancer patients. In addition, each of the studies has natural and planned extensions and will continue to contribute further knowledge into the future.
Supervisor: Darby, Sarah C. Sponsor: British Heart Foundation ; CRUK ; MRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical Sciences ; Cardiovascular disease ; Oncology ; Cancer ; Survivorship ; Cardiovascular ; Late-effects ; Radiotherapy ; Radiation ; Chemotherapy ; Breast Cancer ; Hodgkin lymphoma ; Childhood Cancer