Abstract Title:

Cancer chemotherapy induces cardiotoxicity by targeting cardiac stem cells.

Abstract Source:

J Cell Mol Med. 2010 Nov ;14(11):2630-2. PMID: 20874720

Abstract Author(s):

Yong-mei Li, Yue-ping Guo, Yan Liu

Article Affiliation:

Department of Cardiac Surgery, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.


Overwhelming data indicate that cancer survivors are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases because chemotherapy induces cardiotoxicity. Mechanistic explanation of this phenomenon is necessary to advise the clinical practice on the prevention of cardiotoxicity in cancer patients. Here we propose that chemotherapy induces cardiotoxicity by inadvertently interrupting the homeostasis of cardiac stem cells and depleting the resident cardiac stem cells pool. As a result, the heart loses the capability of regeneration and repair and demonstrates the cardiotoxicity symptoms. Our hypothesis is supported by several lines of emerging evidence: the high incidence of cardiotoxicity in paediatric cancer patients who still have more cardiac stem cells in the myocardium; the rescue of anthracycline cardiomyopathy by injection of cardiac stem cells; and the adverse cardiotoxicity induced by inhibitors of oncogenic kinases or pathways which target cardiac stem cells besides cancer cells. This may promote our growing appreciation that cardiac stem cells represent new targets of chemotherapy that contribute to cardiotoxicity and open up novel strategies for the preservation or expansion of the cardiac stem cells pool to overcome cardiotoxicity associated with chemotherapy.

Study Type : Review

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