BACKGROUND: Cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction and heart failure are major problems in long-term childhood cancer survivors (CCS). We hypothesize that assessment of more sensitive echo- and electrocardiographic measurements, and/or biomarkers will allow for improved recognition of patients with cardiac dysfunction before heart failure develops, and may also identify patients at lower risk for heart failure.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the methodology of the Dutch LATER cardiology study (LATER CARD).
METHODS: The LATER CARD study is a cross-sectional study in long-term CCS treated with (potentially) cardiotoxic cancer therapies and sibling controls. We will evaluate 1) the prevalence and associated (treatment related) risk factors of subclinical cardiac dysfunction in CCS compared to sibling controls and 2) the diagnostic value of echocardiography including myocardial strain and diastolic function parameters, blood biomarkers for cardiomyocyte apoptosis, oxidative stress, cardiac remodeling and inflammation and ECG or combinations of them in the surveillance for cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction. From 2017 to 2020 we expect to include 1900 CCS and 500 siblings.
CONCLUSIONS: The LATER CARD study will provide knowledge on different surveillance modalities for detection of cardiac dysfunction in long-term CCS at risk for heart failure. The results of the study will enable us to improve long-term follow-up surveillance guidelines for CCS at risk for heart failure.