Wake Forest Baptist Researchers Awarded $3.4 Million Grant to Study Cardiovascular Risk in Breast Cancer Survivors

November 19, 2015

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has received a $3.4 million grant for a multi-site clinical trial to study cardiovascular decline following successful chemotherapy to treat Stage I-III breast cancer patients.

Principal Investigator and Professor of Cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist, W. Gregory Hundley, M.D. explains, “Though chemotherapy and early detection methods have greatly increased survival rates for women with breast cancer, this progress is threatened by a significant increase in cardiovascular events for survivors. This study will test cardiovascular function, exercise capacity and fatigue in 1,000 survivors and aims to determine the risk of future cardiac events. We hope that after this study we will better understand who is at risk and how to prevent future cardiovascular damage in breast cancer survivors.”

Little is understood about the origins of cardiovascular dysfunction, exercise intolerance, or fatigue in these women, and current risk prediction models for cardiovascular events do not include breast cancer treatment.

The hope is that this research will reduce the gaps in knowledge associated with cancer treatment-related cardiovascular injury and prompt development of new risk prediction models to prevent cardiovascular events in breast cancer survivors for the purpose of improving overall survival in women with breast cancer.

The five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), allows researchers across the country to collect the large amount of data necessary for this study through NCORP’s nationwide network of community and academic hospitals and, more importantly, allows study participants to be close to home, family and friends.

Media Relations

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279