Book review – Practical cardio-oncology

Br J Cardiol 2020;27:23 Leave a comment
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Editor: Susan F Dent
Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, 2019
ISBN: 9781138296961 Price: £77

Cardio-oncology is a new and rapidly developing subspecialty bringing together cardiologists and oncologists to improve the cardiac care of cancer patients. While the evidence base continues to develop, there is a pressing need for practical guidance on how to manage cardio-oncology patients on a day-to-day basis. This is the strength of Dr Susan Dent’s Practical cardio-oncology book.

Practical cardio-oncology Editor: Susan F Dent Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, 2019 ISBN: 9781138296961

Dr Dent is a medical oncologist based at Duke University, USA. She established the first cardio-oncology clinic in Canada in 2008 as well as developing the Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network and Global Cardio-Oncology Symposium (GCOS). On the sidelines of the last GOCS meeting, Dr Dent explained to me that she was keen to “reflect multi-disciplinary practice from across the globe”, as well as making the book “an accessible resource for the busy clinician”.

The book has two main sections – a section on clinical aspects of cardio-oncology and one on the cardio-oncology clinic, plus a useful third section on potential new avenues for cardio-oncology education and research.

The clinical section takes the reader through common issues in cardio-oncology giving overviews of current imaging strategies and approaches to risk stratification, which can be tricky in practice. The effects of radiotherapy on the heart are described, as is another very useful chapter (aimed at cardiologists) on changes in cancer treatment strategies. Preventive approaches are discussed, as well as late effects in adult and paediatric survivors. The section ends nicely with case studies aiming to illustrate and bring together the issues covered in the preceding chapters.

The ‘cardio-oncology clinic’ section provides very useful advice on setting up cardio-oncology services, training and, uniquely, a very welcome chapter by a specialist nurse discussing the very important role of the cardio-oncology specialist nurse. There is, however, a lack of emphasis on the important role cardiologists often have to play in the management of oncology inpatients, which may be elaborated upon in future editions.

The final section looks at future directions in cardio-oncology research and training showcasing the attractiveness of cardio-oncology as a career choice to trainees given the multiple potential research possibilities to drive the field forwards.

While there are a number of handbooks on cardio-oncology currently available, Dr Dent’s book does commendably deliver on what it sets out to do. It brings together opinions from cardiologists and oncologists to apply current best practice and evidence to practical clinical cardio-oncology issues. The holistic and international approach taken in the book makes it a very relevant and useful resource for clinicians dealing with cardiac issues in cancer patients worldwide.

Arjun K Ghosh
Director, Foundation Programme, St Bartholomew’s Hospital; Consultant Cardiologist Barts Heart Centre and UCLH; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer UCL and QMUL, London