Targeted cancer therapies have revolutionized the treatment of cancer in the past decade, but cardiovascular toxicity is a rising problem in cancer patients. Here we discuss the effects of targeted cancer therapies on atherosclerosis. Increasing the awareness of these adverse effects will promote the development of evidence-based preventive strategies in the emerging field of cardiovascular oncology.
Vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors, immunomodulatory imide drugs, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors are successfully used as treatment for many types of solid and hematologic malignancies. However, clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated that these drugs can drive atherosclerosis, thereby causing adverse cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral arterial occlusive diseases.
In this review, we discuss how on-target and off-target effects of novel cancer drugs may affect atherosclerosis and we postulate how these cardiovascular adverse events can be prevented in the future.
aDepartment of Medical Biochemistry, Subdivision Experimental Vascular Biology, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
bInstitute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK), Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
Correspondence to Dr Esther Lutgens, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Subdivision Experimental Vascular Biology, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 5 66 33 80; e-mail: email@example.com