Abstract

Significant improvements in cancer survival have brought to light unintended long-term adverse cardiovascular effects associated with cancer treatment. Although capable of manifesting a broad range of cardiovascular complications, cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD) remains particularly common among the mainstay anthracycline-based and human epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted therapies. Unfortunately, the early asymptomatic stages of CTRCD are difficult to detect by cardiac imaging alone, and the initiating mechanisms remain incompletely understood. More recently, circulating inflammatory markers, cardiac biomarkers, microRNAs, and extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been considered as early markers of cardiovascular injury. Concomitantly, the role of the endothelium in regulating cardiac function in the context of CTRCD is starting to be understood. In this review, we highlight the impact of breast cancer therapies on the cardiovascular system with a focus on the endothelium, and examine the status of circulating biomarkers, including inflammatory markers, cardiac biomarkers, microRNAs, and endothelial cell-derived EVs. Investigation of these emerging biomarkers may uncover mechanisms of injury, detect early stages of cardiovascular damage, and elucidate novel therapeutic approaches.

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