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CAC Tied to Cardiovascular Risk During Radiation Therapy for NSCLC

Patients with coronary artery calcium may have increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events after initiation of radiation therapy

MONDAY, Feb. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The burden of coronary artery calcium (CAC) may help predict the risk for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) during radiation treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study presented at the Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient conference organized by the American College of Cardiology and held virtually from Feb. 11 to 12.

Matthew Lui, M.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues stratified 155 patients with NSCLC into no, mild, moderate, and severe CAC groups according to the CAC-Data and Reporting System method (41, 45, 39, and 30 patients, respectively). After initiation of radiation therapy, the incidence of MACE was examined across CAC groups.

The researchers found that the incidence of MACE events was 7.3, 15.6, 12.8, and 16.7 percent in the no, mild, moderate, and severe CAC groups, respectively. The mean and maximum heart doses were not associated with MACE in time-to-event analyses. CAC group tended to be associated with increased MACE after adjustment for age and sex (P = 0.069). Compared with no CAC, the risk for MACE was increased for mild (adjusted hazard ratio, 11.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 1,105; P = 0.03), moderate (adjusted hazard ratio, 7.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.5 to 117.5; P = 0.15), and severe CAC (adjusted hazard ratio, 21.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.4 to 357.0; P = 0.03).

“Recognizing cardiovascular risk allows the care team to make a better assessment of the patient’s overall prognosis, which can guide therapy choice and goals of care discussions,” Lui said in a statement.

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