Cardiotoxicity of Biological Therapies in Cancer Patients: An In-Depth Review.

Luai Madanat, Beaumont Health Resident
Ruby Gupta, Beaumont Health Fellow
Paul Weber
Navneet Kumar
Rohit Chandra, Beaumont Health Resident
Hycienth Ahaneku, Beaumont Health Fellow
Yatharth Bansal
Joseph Anderson, Beaumont Health
Abhay Bilolikar, Beaumont Health
Ishmael Jaiyesimi, Beaumont Health


Cardiotoxicity from chemotherapy regimens has been long reported. However, understanding of cardiac side effects of biological therapies is rapidly evolving. With cancer patients achieving higher life expectancy due to the use of personalized medicine and novel targeted anticancer agents, the occurrence of cardiotoxicity is becoming more significant. Novel biological therapies include anti-HER2 antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, bruton kinase inhibitors, anti-vascular endothelial growth factors, proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulator drugs, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Potential cardiovascular toxicities linked to these anticancer agents include hypertension, arrhythmias, QT prolongation, myocardial ischemia and infarction, left ventricular dysfunction, congestive heart failure, and thromboembolism. Cardiac biomarkers, electrocardiography, echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging are common diagnostic modalities used for early detection of these complications and timely intervention. This review discusses the various types of cardiotoxicities caused by novel anticancer biologic agents, their molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms, risk factors, and diagnostic and management strategies that can be used to prevent, minimize, and treat them.