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This article is the author’s final published version in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 18, September 2021, Article number 126.

The published version is available at Copyright © Ettickan and Thangave


Advancements in cancer therapy increased the cancer free survival rates and reduced the malignant related deaths. Therapeutic options for patients with thoracic cancers include surgical intervention and the application of chemotherapy with ionizing radiation. Despite these advances, cancer therapy-related cardiopulmonary dysfunction (CTRCPD) is one of the most undesirable side effects of cancer therapy and leads to limitations to cancer treatment. Chemoradiation therapy or immunotherapy promote acute and chronic cardiopulmonary damage by inducing reactive oxygen species, DNA damage, inflammation, fibrosis, deregulation of cellular immunity, cardiopulmonary failure, and non-malignant related deaths among cancer-free patients who received cancer therapy. CTRCPD is a complex entity with multiple factors involved in this pathogenesis. Although the mechanisms of cancer therapy-induced toxicities are multifactorial, damage to the cardiac and pulmonary tissue as well as subsequent fibrosis and organ failure seem to be the underlying events. The available biomarkers and treatment options are not sufficient and efficient to detect cancer therapy-induced early asymptomatic cell fate cardiopulmonary toxicity. Therefore, application of cutting-edge multi-omics technology, such us whole-exome sequencing, DNA methylation, whole-genome sequencing, metabolomics, protein mass spectrometry and single cell transcriptomics, and 10 X spatial genomics, are warranted to identify early and late toxicity, inflammation-induced carcinogenesis response biomarkers, and cancer relapse response biomarkers. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on cancer therapy-induced cardiopulmonary complications and our current understanding of the pathological and molecular consequences of cancer therapy-induced cardiopulmonary fibrosis, inflammation, immune suppression, and tumor recurrence, and possible treatment options for cancer therapy-induced cardiopulmonary toxicity.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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