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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

New approaches for prediction of cardiotoxicity in breast cancer radiotherapy

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
Keywords
breast cancer, radiotherapy, cardiotoxicity, biomarkers, predictive models, molecular predictor, personalised medicine, polymorphisms, echocardiography, strain
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  33346  Jana Ambrožič  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2023  126 
2.  50451  Mitja Anžič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023 
3.  50491  Boštjan Berlot  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2023  32 
4.  28522  PhD Mojca Bervar  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2023  49 
5.  34769  Tanja Blagus  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2020 - 2023  71 
6.  39581  PhD Marta Cvijić  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2023  189 
7.  50156  PhD Jure Dolenc  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2023  41 
8.  55280  Urban Giovani  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023 
9.  34226  MSc Andreja Gojkovič Horvat  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  35 
10.  34770  PhD Danijela Golo  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  16 
11.  33110  PhD Katja Goričar  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  287 
12.  36676  PhD Jasenka Gugić Kevo  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  31 
13.  24481  Rihard Hudej  Oncology  Researcher  2022 - 2023  50 
14.  53935  Maja Ivanetič Pantar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  62 
15.  56842  Marjeta Jelovčan  Oncology  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
16.  16229  PhD Viljem Kovač  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  297 
17.  54465  Sabina Lovšin    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
18.  34225  PhD Tanja Marinko  Medical sciences  Head  2020 - 2023  167 
19.  24781  MSc Barbara Možina  Medical sciences  Researcher  2021 - 2023  82 
20.  39125  MSc Miha Oražem  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  83 
21.  20054  MSc Marija Snežna Paulin Košir  Oncology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  45 
22.  51830  Aljoša Polšak  Medical sciences  Researcher  2022 - 2023  17 
23.  34883  PhD Ivica Ratoša  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  155 
24.  14576  PhD Primož Strojan  Oncology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  803 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0302  Institute of Oncology Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5055733000  15,433 
2.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  77,320 
3.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,170 
Abstract
Background: The use of radiation therapy (RT) has contributed to significant improvement in disease-specific survival for patients with early stage breast cancer. These success with RT, used either alone or in combination with other modalities, resulted in large cohorts of cancer survivors, who are subject to late complications from treatment. Analyses have shown that the therapeutic benefits from RT may be offset to some extent by delayed effects on the heart, thereby reducing the benefits of RT. Incidental radiation to the heart as part of the initial treatment of breast cancer can result in a range of cardiotoxic effects including coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease, valvular dysfunction, and conduction abnormalities. Cardiotoxicity is related to both the volume of heart irradiated and the radiation dose delivered to that volume. There does not appear to be any minimum radiation dose that is entirely safe, and the effects of radiation on the heart increase with increasing doses of radiation. Some research has already been focused on the analysis of late radiation effects on the heart, but more information is still needed concerning the early radiation toxicity, whose clinical assessment still remains difficult. Actually, the early identification of radiation damage to the heart tissue might prove to be vital for the improvement of the quality of life of the breast cancer survivors. Therefore, specific cardiac serum or plasma biomarkers and strain rate imaging may play a significant role in the detection of early subclinical cardiac changes. They might help to identify those patients who are at a higher risk and may need close follow-up in order to achieve better outcomes. With multivariable predictive models integrating clinical, imaging and biomarker data it might be possible to personalize radiation treatment and minimize cardiotoxic effect of radiotherapy not only at the radiation technique level, but also at the level of a prescribed treatment dose. The objective of our study is to find novel predictors of cardiotoxicity in patients with breast cancer. Our hypothesis is that by integrating clinical data, echocardiographic imaging data and genetic and plasma biomarkers we will be able to identify molecular signatures of cardiotoxicity. This would provide a framework for future research towards precision medicine based radiation treatment in breast cancer patients. We will perform a prospective clinical study, including patients with breast cancer treated with adjuvant radiation treatment at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana. We will use different imaging techniques and genomic and plasma biomarkers to identify molecular signatures of cardiotoxicity in our clinically well-defined Slovenian patient cohort. All work programme will be divided in five work packages: patient inclusion, blood sample and data collection; imaging (echocardiography); identification of biomarkers; statistical analysis and finally identification of molecular signatures of cardiotoxicity. Conclusion: We expect to find new plasma and genetic biomarkers of cardiotoxicity of radiation therapy in breast cancer patients. The ability to identify patients at risk of severe cardiotoxicity in advance could enable patient stratification and allow treatment modifications such as the use of very strict dose constraints for heart or its substructure. This would enable a more personalized and more effective treatment of breast cancer patients and also improve their quality of life.
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