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Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a new way to detect heart damage caused by chemotherapy.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The high-tech scanning techniques were enabled by funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and could reveal whether chemotherapy is damaging a person’s heart before any symptoms appear.

Doxorubicin is a commonly used type of chemotherapy drug which slows or stops the growth of cancer cells by blocking an enzyme which cancer cells need to divide and grow. The drug is used to treat a wide variety of cancers including; breast cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and has drastically improved survival rates from these diseases.

However, doxorubicin and other chemotherapy drugs can also cause heart failure, where the heart muscle is damaged and can’t pump blood around the body effectively.

Read more (University of Oxford website)