Preventing Cardiotoxicity in Cancer Survivors
Many highly effective cancer treatments can damage the heart. BIDMC's Cardio-Oncology research program is working to understand the roots of cardiotoxicity with the goal of developing cardioprotective therapies for a rapidly growing population of cancer survivors.
Aarti H. Asnani, MD, is an attending cardiologist in the CVI's Cardio-Oncology Program and a basic and translational researcher in this field. The main focus of Dr. Asnani’s lab is to identify new mechanisms of cardiovascular toxicity associated with commonly used cancer treatments. Zebrafish and mouse models of cardiotoxicity are used to define candidate pathways involved in the pathogenesis of cardiotoxicity, with the goal of developing new cardioprotective therapies that target these mechanisms in patients.
Ongoing projects in the Asnani lab focus on the following areas:
- Cytochrome P450 family 1 enzymes in doxorubicin heart toxicity
- Redox biology and characterization of mitochondrial mass and function in doxorubicin heart toxicity
- Discovery of new metabolite and protein markers of toxicity in patients treated with cardiotoxic chemotherapy
- Development of new animal models to study the tissue-specific effects of cancer treatments
Cardiac Toxicity of Cancer Chemotherapy
With the aging of the population, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer has grown significantly over the past few decades. In parallel, survival rates have improved due to increased efficacy and tolerability of cancer treatments. As a result, the acute and long-term toxicities of cancer therapies have become increasingly prominent as contributors to morbidity and mortality in cancer survivors.
Asnani Lab Members
- Anita Vohra, BS, Research assistant
- Cole Turissini, Summer student
- Shu Yang, MD, Resident in Internal Medicine, BIDMC
- Anuradha Godishala, MD, Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine, BIDMC