A Total Eclipse of the Heart

Apr 11, 2024

Here is a cardiopharmaceutical take on the recent eclipse, which started in Mexico and moved northeast from Texas to Maine, and into eastern Canada, set to the tune of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.

Several medical treatments are associated with toxicity to the heart or cardiotoxicity. These include anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), a chemotherapy agent used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, sarcoma, or multiple myeloma, trastuzumab (Herceptin®), a targeted therapy commonly used to treat breast cancer, stomach cancer or cancer of the gastroesophageal junction, and radiation therapy to the chest, often used to treat breast cancer or leukemia.

Currently no cardioprotective agents, that is agents which prevent cardiotoxicity before it develops are approved and available for use.

However, in development is lead EpicentRx small molecule, RRx-001 (nibrozetone), which preclinically reduces infarct size post-myocardial infarction (MI) (heart attack) and mitigates right-heart failure from pulmonary hypertension, and cardiotoxicity from doxorubicin.

Hopefully, if RRx-001 is given in the clinic with doxorubicin, trastuzumab, radiation, or post-MI to reduce the size of the infarction, it will prevent a total eclipse of the heart.