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Can cutaneous telangiectasiae as late normal-tissue injury predict cardiovascular disease in women receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer?

By G. A. Tanteles, J. Whitworth, J. Mills, I. Peat, A. Osman, G. P. McCann, S. Chan, Julian G. Barwell, Christopher J. Talbot and R. P. Symonds


Background: Overall, ~5% of patients show late normal-tissue damage after radiotherapy with a smaller number having a risk of radiation-induced heart disease. Although the data are conflicting, large studies have shown increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) for irradiated patients compared with non-irradiated ones, or for those treated to the left breast or chest wall compared with those treated to the right. Cutaneous telangiectasiae as late normal-tissue injury have so far only been regarded as a cosmetic burden.\ud \ud Methods: The relationship between late normal-tissue radiation injury phenotypes in 149 irradiated breast cancer patients and the presence of cardiovascular disease were examined.\ud \ud Results: A statistically significant association between the presence of skin telangiectasiae and the long-term risk of CVD was shown in these patients (P=0.017; Fisher's exact test).\ud \ud Interpretation: This association may represent initial evidence that telangiectasiae can be used as a marker of future radiation-induced cardiac complications. It could also suggest a common biological pathway for the development of both telangiectasiae and CVD on the basis of a genetically predisposed endothelium. To our knowledge this is the first reported study looking at this association

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605182
OAI identifier:

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