Treatment of primary cardiac malignancies with orthotopic heart transplantation.

E. Rodríguez-Cruz, R. M. Cintrón-Maldonado, T. J. Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Heart transplantation has become available as a possible treatment for patients with malignancies. Primary cardiac malignant tumors are extremely rare but several patients have been treated with this modality. Whether survival is improved over the direct removal of tumor or heart transplantation is not known. We compiled data regarding malignant primary heart tumors that have been treated at various transplant centers in order to determine if early diagnosis and treatment with cardiac transplantation has resulted in an improved mortality. METHODS: A total of 173 questionnaires were sent to the heart transplant centers across the United States and Canada inquiring about those patients who were found to have a primary cardiac malignant tumor and who underwent heart transplantation. Cases reported in the literature, which had undergone transplantation, were also reviewed by a search in MEDLINE. RESULTS: Twenty-four cases were collected. The overall survival time was from 1 month to 66 months. The actuarial survival was 54% at 12 months, 45% at 24 months and 35% at 36, 48 and 60 months respectively. Metastases were present in 10 out of the 14 deceased patients, possibly being one of the major factors affecting survival. Only 1 living patient developed metastases. CONCLUSION: Survival rates of patients with primary cardiac malignancies treated with resection, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of them (conventional therapy) versus heart transplantation are similar. Early diagnosis and resection are the most important factors for a better outcome, however these factors will not guarantee success since the presence or development of metastasis is a major contributor to death in both groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalBoletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico
Issue number4-8
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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