Severe heart complications from cancer treatment could now be diagnosed sing new biomarker based technique


eMediNexus    22 December 2022

A new biomarker-based method has been developed by researchers at Michigan Medicine to screen for a rare and lethal side effect brought on by monoclonal antibodies, which are used to treat a variety of tumours.


JACC: CardioOncology published the study results. Researchers found that almost all cancer patients who developed myocarditis after receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy also exhibited early indications of liver and muscle damage.


Dr. Salim Hayek, M.D, senior author of the study and medical director of the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center Clinics said "While immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of various cancers, patients who develop the rare complication of myocarditis often present late with at least a 50% chance of death." 


He added that no single test can distinguish immune checkpoint inhibitor myocarditis from other types of heart damage, making the diagnosis difficult. Therefore, early diagnosis of patients was crucial since it enables earlier immunosuppressive drug initiation and increases patients′ chances of survival.


Monoclonal antibodies known as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) boost the body′s defenses against malignant cells. Myocarditis is the most severe side effect, but there is a possibility that the medications heightened immune activity will turn against the body and affect virtually any organ system.


Over 2,600 cancer patients at the University of Michigan Health who received immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy between June 2014 and December 2021 were examined by researchers. Most patients with ICI myocarditis had early indicators of liver and muscle damage even before being admitted to the hospital. 95% of these patients had at least three increased biomarkers compared to the 5% patients without myocarditis. The development of ICI myocarditis was most closely associated with the non-cardiac biomarker creatine phosphokinase, which indicates muscle injury.


The researchers concluded that clinicians should regularly check patients taking ICIs for biomarkers of damage in other body parts, including creatine phosphokinase for muscle injury, aspartate and alanine aminotransferase for liver injury, and lactate dehydrogenase for tissue injury etc.


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/diagnostics/researchers-discover-new-biomarker-method-to-diagnose-severe-heart-complications-from-cancer-treatment/96389893?utm_source=Mailer&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=ethealth_news_2022-12-22&dt=2022-12-22)

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