Article Abstract

Cardiovascular complications of metastatic colorectal cancer treatment

Authors: Kalliopi Keramida, Georgios Charalampopoulos, Dimitrios Filippiadis, Elias Tsougos, Dimitrios Farmakis


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy in men and the second in women and the fourth cause of cancer death. Survival rates decrease greatly according to the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Approximately 50% of CRC patients will develop metastatic disease (mCRC) with survival and prognosis depending on the timing of metastatic development, and the localization and number of metastatic sites. The overall survival of patients with mCRC has been significantly improved over the last years from approximately 12 to more than 30 months with the integration of multiple cytotoxic agents and targeted therapies. The optimal therapeutic strategy depends on the general condition and performance status of the patient, the resectability or not of metastases and the mutational status of the tumor in terms of BRAF and RAS. Cardiovascular (CV) complications of mCRC treatment may develop peri-operatively and mostly during chemotherapy. During first-line treatment, 90% of patients experience more than one adverse event (AE) and 39% of them are CV. Angina, hypertension, arrhythmias, arterial and venous thrombotic events (VTEs), heart failure (HF) and death are the main CV events resulting from the applied chemotherapy regimens. Cardio-oncology consultation for identification of high-risk patients, proper monitoring during and after therapy and timely intervention would allow the successful prevention and the efficient management of cardiotoxicity, rendering the patient able to receive the indicated cancer therapy and improving the overall outcome.