Cardio-oncology: a tremendous opportunity to improve patient care

Daniel J Lenihan speaks to Gemma Westcott, Commissioning Editor: A cardiologist at Vanderbilt University (TN, USA), Daniel J Lenihan is President of the International CardiOncology Society-North America. In 1988, Daniel graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Memphis and did his residency at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton (OH, USA). Ultimately, he gained a cardiology fellowship from the University of Cincinnati (OH, USA) and went on to become Professor and Director of Cardiovascular Research in the Department of Cardiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer (TX, USA). He now works as Professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville (TN, USA) specializing in advanced heart failure medicine and cardio-oncology. For over 20 years, he has been active in clinical research in heart failure, and the main focuses of his work have included hemodynamic assessments, angiogenic growth factor response, novel cardiac biomarkers and optimal methods to prevent or detect heart failure at the earliest stage possible in patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Q Can you tell our readers about your career to-date & how you came to be in your current role?

I am not sure if you can exactly figure out how you end up in that spot! During my cardiology fellowship I had always had an interest in heart failure. Immediately after fellowship I was in the US Air Force for several years but continued to be engaged in clinical research in heart failure. After the military, I went to a couple of academic positions where I primarily dealt with heart failure and cardiac transplantation. After a few years of doing that, I ended up at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I was there for around 7 years and during that time I really grew to love caring for patients with cancer and helping to manage cardiac conditions. Since then, I have been attempting to improve practices across the country in terms of cardio-oncology, but also really trying to advance the research that is being done. About 5 years ago, I came to Vanderbilt with my primary role being the Director of Clinical Research, and in that context have continued to be focused on heart failure and cardio-oncology studies; I have been doing that ever since.

Q So what drew you toward the field of cardio-oncology?

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