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Research Study Aims to Reduce Heart Failure in Cancer Survivors

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Cancer patients undergoing anthracycline chemotherapy face a daunting risk – more than twice the chance of developing heart failure compared to individuals without cancer.

The RESILIENCE project, a groundbreaking international initiative, seeks to offer hope and prevent heart failure in patients who rely on anthracycline-based cancer treatments. Experts and patients convened at the European Heart House, home to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), to form a unique think tank dedicated to enhancing healthcare and the quality of life for cancer patients.

 

The Need for Preventive Measures

 

Every year, approximately four million Europeans receive a cancer diagnosis, making cancer a pervasive health challenge. Anthracycline chemotherapy is a cornerstone of treatment for various forms of cancer, with up to 70% of lymphoma patients receiving anthracycline-based regimens. However, despite its efficacy in treating cancer, there is currently no therapy available to prevent anthracycline cardiotoxicity, a condition that can lead to heart failure.

 

The RESILIENCE Project

 

The RESILIENCE project is a multinational, EU-funded endeavor designed to test a promising preventive treatment known as remote ischemic conditioning in lymphoma patients who are at risk of anthracycline cardiotoxicity. This is a groundbreaking randomized trial, marking the first of its kind to evaluate such an intervention in patients with cancer receiving anthracycline chemotherapy. If the trial yields positive results, it could significantly reduce the incidence of heart failure in cancer survivors, transforming the outlook for these patients.

 

Remote Ischemic Conditioning

 

The core of the RESILIENCE project lies in the application of remote ischemic conditioning as a preventive measure. This intervention involves repeatedly restricting blood supply to one arm for five minutes at a time by inflating a blood pressure cuff. This process induces the release of substances that travel to vital organs, rendering them more resistant to injury. Experimental studies have already demonstrated the potential of this treatment to reduce anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity.

 

The Study’s Scope

 

The RESILIENCE project aims to enroll over 600 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are undergoing anthracycline chemotherapy from seven European Union countries. A substantial number of participants have already been enrolled. The patients are being randomly assigned to undergo remote ischemic conditioning or a sham intervention once a week, from the comfort of their homes, during the four months of chemotherapy. Cutting-edge imaging methods will be employed to assess and compare heart function between the two treatment groups.

 

A Multidisciplinary Approach

 

The RESILIENCE project brings together a diverse consortium of professionals, including cardiologists, hematologists, oncologists, cardiac imagers, industry representatives, policymakers, and most crucially, patients and patient associations. Patient perspectives play a pivotal role in the project’s mission to reduce the cardiac damage resulting from cancer treatment. Patients have been actively involved in the design of the RESILIENCE trial, and their experiences during the study will be documented and analyzed.

 

Collaboration with ESC

 

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is a significant partner in the RESILIENCE project. The ESC played a vital role in shaping the research protocol, and it is set to be a key player in disseminating the results. Moreover, the ESC will contribute to educating cardiologists and cancer specialists on strategies to minimize the cardiac side effects of cancer treatment.

 

A Shared Goal

 

The RESILIENCE project transcends boundaries among various stakeholders in the field of cardio-oncology, uniting them with a common objective – to enhance the quality of life for patients. As the project progresses, it holds the promise of providing a vital shield for cancer patients against the potential harm associated with anthracycline chemotherapy, offering hope, resilience, and improved wellbeing.

M Moiz
M Moiz
M Moiz, is Research Student at Islamabad research Institute and work with THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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