About half of children with cancer are treated with anthracycline-type chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin and daunorubicin. These drugs have often been shown to be effective but can cause serious side effects in the form of heart damage. This can lead to reduced pumping power of the heart.

Previous research showed that the drug dexrazoxane can prevent or reduce heart damage. Esmée de Baat: “However, there were concerns about the safety of dexrazoxane, especially regarding the development of second tumors. In addition, there were still hardly any guidelines for the use of this drug in children.’

This new guideline for children is of great importance to improve treatment of children with cancer. However, further research into the following topics, among others, is necessary: the long-term effects of dexrazoxane, the effects at lower anthracycline doses and which children benefit most from treatment with dexrazoxane.