Concurrent Therapies That Protect Against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy
Doxorubicin is a chemotherapeutic agent successfully used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers. However, with cumulative doses, doxorubicin also is known to have cardiotoxic effects, including cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Research is targeted at maximizing the antitumor effects of doxorubicin while attenuating the potential cardiotoxicity. Concurrent therapies under study are combinations of doxorubicin with drugs such as probucol, carvedilol (Coreg®, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC), dexrazoxane (Zinecard®, Pfizer, New York, NY), and antioxidant nutrients. As patient advocates, nurses must be aware of current research, treatment options, and evidence-based patient resources and be diligent in assessing and educating patients before, during, and after treatment with doxorubicin.