Cardio-Oncology & Immunology Program

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(415) 353-2873

Advances in cancer treatment have dramatically improved the long-term survival of cancer patients. Unfortunately, many of the drugs or therapies that destroy cancer cells can damage the heart, either directly or by creating immunological or metabolic problems that affect cardiovascular health. The UCSF Cardio-Oncology & Immunology Program was created to address those problems. Our goal is to minimize heart-health risks for patients as they are undergoing cancer treatment and afterward as cancer survivors. Because of the complex nature of these issues, we have a uniquely diverse team of specialists working closely together to care for our patients. We also collaborate with physicians and researchers at Bakar Cancer Hospital, the Cardiovascular Research institute and other medical centers worldwide.

Our comprehensive program provides care for people facing a range of cardio-oncology issues. Among them:

  • Patients who may be suffering cardiac side effects from traditional cancer treatments, such as anthracyclines, radiation or other advanced therapies.
  • Newly diagnosed cancer patients who already have cardiovascular issues. Our cardio-oncologists work closely with the primary cancer team to safely shepherd each patient through medical and surgical treatment for cancer.
  • Patients treated with an immuno-oncology therapy who develop an inflammatory heart disease, such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
  • Patients with metabolic issues or disorders. Cancer therapies that target tumor metabolism can upset bodily metabolism, causing issues such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar or even diabetes – all of which can have an impact on the cardiovascular system. Our multidisciplinary team focuses on reducing the impact of these metabolic changes on the cardiovascular system.
  • Cancer survivors. Because many cancer treatments can be harmful to the heart, many patients are left with an elevated risk of heart disease. We work with survivors to promote awareness of their cardiovascular risks and of strategies to reduce these, such as taking aspirin every day, maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and following a heart-healthy diet.

Through the program we also offer clinics devoted to specific cardio-oncology conditions, including: amyloidosis, carcinoid heart disease, myocarditis and CHIP (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential).

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    Cancer Survivorship and Wellness Institute

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