Cancer treatment is hard on the heart
Jack Loacker Center for Cardio-Oncology
Great Progress Brings New Challenges
Thanks to improved diagnostic capability and therapies, the death rate for all cancers declined by 27% between 1999 and 2019. Overall, 10-year survival stands at 50% across the 20 most common malignancies and approximately 80% or better in breast, lymphoma, melanoma, and uterine cancers. As a result of this progress, in the next five years the United States will have 20 million cancer survivors.
As more people survive cancer, the potential for future cardiovascular events increases. For a growing number of patients, their cancer treatments have caused, or maybe contributed to their heart disease.
Some types of radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be cardiotoxic, and it is increasingly apparent that newer, targeted therapies may also injure the heart. Many patients were treated before the cardiovascular impacts of their cancer treatments were well understood or before there were alternatives. For others, even as new cancer therapies emerge, the best treatments are those with well-known cardiovascular risks. It is a challenge for the treating physician to minimize risks, many of which are unavoidable, while maximizing each patient’s chances of survival from their cancer.
Who is Jack Loacker?
Jack, along and his wife, Lynn, was a longtime supporter of Providence, especially cancer research. Jack was keenly interested in and a significant contributor to leading-edge cancer research projects. Jack served on the Providence Portland Medical Foundation Board of Directors until his death in 2020.
Meet Michael Layoun, M.D., FACC
Led by Michael Layoun, M.D., FACC, the Jack Loacker Center for Cardio-Oncology will work to prevent and treat adverse cardiovascular effects of cancer therapies and advance research on how those adverse effects arise, who is most vulnerable to them and how they may be prevented or reduced.
Born and raised in Portland, Dr. Layoun earned his bachelor of science in biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University and completed his medical training at Oregon Health & Science University.
After a three-year residency at University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to Portland to complete his cardiovascular medicine fellowship at OHSU, where he also served as chief fellow during his final year of training.