Immunotherapy cancer treatment increases heart attack risk

Immunotherapy cancer treatment increases heart attack risk

PD-1 inhibitor drugs such as Keytruda and Opdivo seem to increase inflammation in the immunotherapy patient resulting in greater levels of cardiovascular disease later in life.

A small study (1) of 20 Austrians who had had a checkpoint inhibitor, PD-1 immunotherapy treatment for melanoma (for example, Pembrolizumab or Nivolumab) showed that all patients developed more inflammation and more atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems, according to a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

The study showed that the immune Checkpoint inhibitor therapy aggravated existing atherosclerosis.

The study's senior author, Dr. Marcus Hacker, of the division of nuclear medicine at the Medical University of Vienna gelt Doctors using the drugs should be more aware of potential risks.

This is not the first time cancer drugs have been shown to increase cardiovascular disease. A 40-year study found that cancer survivors were more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than the general population if they had taken chemotherapy. Breast, prostate, bladder and endometrial cancer patients showed the worst figures.

Go to: Study shows greater risk of cardiovascular disease in cancer survivors

This new study only looked at melanoma patients but now other cancers are being studied. Already, Lymphoma patients having taken PD-1 drugs seems to be producing the same results.

The bottom line is that increased arterial inflammation in people receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors leads to heart problems later in life.

Go to: Immunotherapy overview

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Reference

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/09/08/immune-boosting-cancer-treatment-may-pose-cardiovascular-risk

 


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