Prof Kazuaki Negishi, 24 May 2022
Cardio-oncology is a rapidly emerging speciality globally. Cardio-oncology is dedicated to the prevention, identification, and treatment of cardiovascular complications in cancer patients as well as in long-term survivors. This is pertinent as cancer treatments are more complex than ever and cancer survivorship is rapidly increasing. Notably, Australia has one of the best cancer survivor rates globally.
An article published in the Internal Medicine Journal, led by Professor Kazuaki Negishi, senior author and of University of Sydney and Nepean Hospital assessed the status of cardio-oncology services in Australia through an online multi-disciplinary survey. There were 118 responses analysed with 70% reporting no dedicated cardio-oncology services existed at their institution, with insufficient funding being the main reason. Most respondents were oncologists (35%), followed by cardiologist (31%), haematologist (18%) and radiation oncologists (14%). The vast majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed (86%) cardio-oncology is an important sub-speciality. Cancer specialists estimated 15% of their patients did not receive optimal cancer care due to cardiotoxicity or a history of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, 50% of cancer specialists were neutral to very unconfident in identifying cardiotoxicity. In regard to cardio-oncology education, nearly all respondent supported increased cardio-oncology session at national society meetings (88%) and the creation of national cardio-oncology guidelines (97%).
The results of this Australian first survey demonstrate “the overwhelming support for Australian cardio-oncology guidelines and an increased presence at national society meetings suggest there is a sizable appetite for the growth of cardio-oncology services in Australia.” Hopefully, these findings can be used for an evidence base for further funding of cardio-oncology services in Australia.
In conclusion, the authors suggest “a multi-disciplinary team funding model following existing templates in oncology may be a pathway forward. Our findings indicate that there is a strong support for further cardio-oncology education, guidelines and services nationally.”
You can find the full article here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imj.15682