Cancer, the Heart, and CCON
Cancer and the heart are becoming common terminology in both oncology and cardiology practices. With the evolution of systemic and targeted therapies in cancer treatment, it has become increasingly evident that damage to the heart may occur as a result of cancer therapy. Although cardiac toxicities associated with conventional chemotherapy are well known, the short- and long-term effects of targeted agents on the heart are less well understood.
- The Canadian Cardiac Oncology Network was established in 2011 to bring together health care professionals interested in understanding how cancer therapies impact cardiac health.
- To date, we have hosted three Canadian Cardiac Oncology Network conferences in Ottawa, Ontario, with a growing interest from a number of health care providers including: oncologists, cardiologists, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and basic scientists.
- The Canadian Cardiac Oncology Network has made great strides since its inception and has gained recognition from several academic institutions across North America.
The aim of the clinical component of the program is the rapid assessment of cancer patients who are at risk of or have experienced cardiac toxicities from their cancer therapy.
The goal of the research component of the program is to develop a National cardiac oncology patient registry in order to facilitate the development of evidence based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of cardiac toxicity in cancer patients.
In collaborating with basic scientists, we are in the process of establishing a translational research program that will evaluate the role of ‘novel’ biomarkers in predicting early signs of cardiac toxicity.
The goal of the educational component of the program is to educate patients, practitioners, and health care professionals at various stages of training.
The educational needs are currently met through annual conferences, 1-day preceptorship, cardiac oncology rounds, cardiac oncology research fellowships and the website.
Future education activities will focus on producing electronic learning resources and establishing monthly webinars for multidisciplinary cardiac oncology rounds, to foster education of health care professionals and trainees across the nation.