Cardiac Disease in Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated With Radiation Therapy: A PENTEC Comprehensive Review

James E. Bates, Tiziana Rancati, Homa Keshavarz, Giovanna Gagliardi, Marianne C. Aznar, Rebecca M. Howell, Suman Shrestha, Vitali Moiseenko, Ellen Yorke, Saro Armenian, Leontien Kremer, Ming Hui Chen, Helena J. van der Pal, David J. Cutter, Louis S. Constine, David Hodgson

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Purpose: Radiation therapy (RT) is an essential component in the treatment of many pediatric malignancies. Thoracic RT may expose the heart to radiation dose and thereby increase the risk of late cardiac disease. This comprehensive review from the Pediatric Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (PENTEC) initiative focused on late cardiac disease in survivors of childhood cancer treated with RT. Methods and Materials: This systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology. We identified 1496 articles; 4 were included for dose-response modeling between mean cardiac radiation dose and risk of late coronary artery disease, heart failure (HF), valvular disease, and any cardiac disease. Results: For each 10-Gy increase in corrected mean cardiac radiation dose in 1.8- to 2.0-Gy fractions, we estimated a hazard ratio of 2.01 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.79-2.25) for coronary artery disease, of 1.87 (95% CI, 1.70-2.06) for HF, of 1.87 (95% CI, 1.78-1.96) for valvular disease, and of 1.88 (95% CI, 1.75-2.03) for any cardiac disease. From the same model, for each 100-mg/m2 increase in cumulative anthracycline dose, the hazard ratio for the development of HF was 1.93 (95% CI, 1.58-2.36), equivalent to an increase in mean heart dose of approximately 10.5 Gy. Other nontreatment factors were inconsistently reported in the analyzed articles. Conclusions: Radiation dose to the heart increases the risk of late cardiac disease, but survivors of childhood cancer who receive a mean dose <10 Gy at standard fractionation are at low absolute risk (<∼2% approximately 30 years after exposure) of late cardiac disease in the absence of anthracycline exposure. Minimizing cardiac radiation dose is especially relevant in children receiving anthracyclines. When cardiac sparing is not possible, we recommend prioritizing target coverage. It is likely that individual cardiac substructure doses will be a better predictor of specific cardiac diseases than mean dose, and we urge the pediatric oncology community to further study these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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