New Developments in Anthracycline-Induced Cardiotoxicity

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Abstract:

Anthracyclines are among the most effective anticancer drugs ever developed. Unfortunately, their clinical use is severely limited by the development of a progressive dose-dependent cardiomyopathy that irreversibly evolves toward congestive heart failure, usually refractory to conventional therapy. The pathophysiology of anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy remains controversial and incompletely understood. The current thinking is that anthracyclines are toxic per se but gain further cardiotoxicity after one-electron reduction with ROS overproduction or two-electron reduction with conversion to C-13 alcohol metabolites. ROS overproduction can probably be held responsible for anthracycline acute cardiotoxicity, but not for all the aspects of progressive cardiomyopathy. Intramyocardial formation of secondary alcohol metabolites might play a key role in promoting the progression of cardiotoxicity toward end-stage cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure.

In this review we also discuss recent developments in: a) the molecular mechanisms underlying anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity; b) the role of cytosolic NADPH-dependent reductases in anthracycline metabolism; c) the influence of genetic polymorphisms on cardiotoxicity outcome; d) the perspectives on the most promising strategies for limiting or preventing anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity, focusing on controversial aspects and on recent data regarding analogues of the natural compounds, tumor-targeted formulations and cardioprotective agents.

Keywords: Anthracycline; aldo-keto reductases; carbonyl reductases; cardiotoxicity; genetic polymorphisms; secondary alcohol metabolites

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986709788186228

Affiliations: Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Catholic University School of Medicine, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Roma, Italy.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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