Executive summary

Radiation induced heart disease (RIHD) significantly impacts the long-term survival and quality of life of cancer survivors as one of the most devastating adverse effects. This study analyzed key areas and patterns of RIHD research using bibliometrics. RIHD-associated cancer types are mainly referred to thoracic cancer, including breast cancer, NSCLC and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A linear correlation between the mean heart dose (MHD) and the incidence of major coronary events was established by the Darby (2013) study in breast cancer patients, which the increase in incidence was 7.4% per gray. More and more studies suggest that there is a closer relationship between RIHD and cardiac substructures receiving high dose of radiation, among which the dose of coronary artery is considered to be an independent factor in the assessment of RIHD and has a strong association with risk of ischemic heart disease. Proton therapy has gained more attention recently for reducing cardiac radiation dose and has been studied in several malignancies, including breast cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Cardioprotective strategies are needed to ultimately achieve the goal of RIHD minimization. High-quality trials on serum markers of RIHD, imaging methods, radiation mitigants, and advanced radiotherapy techniques are critical.

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