Recent Advances in the Prevention of Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity in Childhood
The prevention of anthracycline cardiotoxicity is particularly important in children who can be expected to survive for decades after cancer chemotherapy with these agents. The rapid increase in clinical toxicity at doses greater than 550 mg / m² of doxoru- bicin (DOX) has made this dose the limiting one in order to avoid DOX-induced cardiac failure. However, arbitrary dose limitation is inadequate because of variability of individual tolerance. Decreasing myocardial concentrations of anthracyclines (ANT) and their metabolites and schedule modification of administration can reduce anthracycline cardiotoxicity. Anthracycline structural analogues such as epirubicin, idarubicin and mitoxantrone have been used in clinical practice. In addition, the liposomal ANT, which can be incorporated into a variety of liposomal preparations, are a new class of agents that may permit more specific organ targeting of ANT, thereby producing less cardiac toxicity. Much interest has focused on the administration of ANT in conjunction with another agent that will selectively attenuate the cardiotoxicity. As is known, the ANT chelate iron and the DOX-iron complex catalyzes the formation of extremely reactive hydroxyl radicals. Many agents, such as dexrazoxane (DEX), able to remove iron from DOX, have been investigated as anthracycline cardioprotectors. Clinical trials of DEX have been conducted in children and significant short-term cardioprotection with no evidence of interference with antitumor activity has been demonstrated. Whether long-term cardiac toxicity will also be avoided in surviving patients has not yet been determined.
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: November 1, 2001
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