Prostacyclin (PGI2) and its analogues protect from cardiovascular disease through pleiotropic effects such as vasodilation, inhibition of platelet aggregation, leukocyte adhesion, and vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation. Additionally, prostacyclin synthase (PGIS) and PGI2 also possess anti-cancer properties. As of late (2009-2010), numerous studies have identified the deleterious side-effects of chemotherapy on the cardiovascular system, which have been deemed as a serious clinical issue. Cardiomyocyte damage, induced by oxidative stress, is one of the clinical consequences caused by routine cancer chemotherapy. Previous studies indicate iloprost, a PGI2 analogue, can protect against doxorubicin-induced (DOX) cardiomyocyte injury in vitro and in vivo without compromising tumor suppression. Therefore, we hypothesize PGI2 can be used as a cardioprotective supplement to attenuate the damaging cardiac effects caused by the traditional cancer chemotherapy regimen.
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