Cardiovascular (CV) complications of cancer and its treatment have become increasingly recognised as an important clinical issue. They have the potential to cause acute complications during therapy, which may limit the effectiveness of cancer treatment, or cause more long-term effects, pre-disposing cancer survivors to cardiovascular disease.
The UCLH cardio-oncology service provides a centralised, high-quality, consultant-based outpatient clinical service, with the following main aims:
- Identification of patients at high risk of suffering CV complications of cancer treatment.
- Support of clinical oncologists in the planning of care for patients with cancer and CV problems, and help in managing acute CV complications.
- Monitoring of patients undergoing potentially high-risk therapy for CV involvement, using the most up to date biomarkers and imaging techniques, from echocardiography to cardiac MRI scanning and nuclear medicine techniques.
- To be a repository of clinical experience and advice in the evolving specialist area of cardio-oncology.
- To evolve long-term surveillance programmes for patients at risk of developing, or who have had, CV complications.
- Training of medical and para-medical staff, and involvement in clinical research.
- In collaboration with national and international cardio-oncology groups, benchmarking protocols for high-quality clinical service provision against best practice in cardio-oncology.
Current provision is limited to adults with cancer who may be at risk of CV disease because of underlying CV co-morbidities, or those about to undertake intense cancer treatment regimens that are known to potentially cause CV complications.