TAMPA, Fla. – Moffitt Cancer Center and USF Health have taken aim to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications during cancer treatment through Florida’s first comprehensive academic Cardio-Oncology Program. The two institutions will celebrate the first year of the program with a joint luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, 124 S. Franklin St., Tampa. The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The effort, begun in late 2014, combines the expertise of cardiologists and oncologists to provide better care for cancer patients who have a history of cardiovascular disease or have developed cardiotoxic side effects from chemotherapy. Since its creation, 520 patients have used the program, which is overseen by Michael Fradley, MD, assistant professor of cardiology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Moffitt, and Roohi Ismail-Khan, MD, a medical oncologist with the Center for Women’s Oncology at Moffitt.
“Based on our first year, this comprehensive and collaborative program is definitely filling a need for those who may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease or who develop cardiotoxic side effects from chemotherapy or radiation,” said Dr. Fradley, director of the joint Cardio-Oncology Program. “It’s a partnership that will continue to strengthen as our patient volume grows and we expand our research and clinical efforts to reduce cardiac risk and improve outcomes for patients battling cancer.”
Joining Dr. Fradley and Dr. Ismail-Khan as speakers are Arthur Labovitz, MD, FACC, chair of cardiovascular sciences at USF Health, and G. Douglas Letson, MD, executive vice president at Moffitt. Two patients are also expected to share their experiences with the program during the luncheon.
The program serves male and female patients equally, according to Dr. Fradley. But Dr. Ismail-Khan adds that breast cancer patients are at extra risk for cardiotoxicity.
“Cardiotoxicity can affect all cancer types, but Herceptin is an effective targeted therapy for patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer,” Dr. Ismail-Khan said. “Research shows the drug may also lead to cardiovascular complications.”
The luncheon is not open to the public, but the media is invited to attend.
*A patient will be available for interviews.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. One of the three largest cancer centers in the United States based on patient volume, the Tampa-based facility is one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. With more than 5,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $1.9 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About USF Health
USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. USF Health is an integral part of the University of South Florida, a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. For more information, visit health.usf.edu.