In medicine, we often use reviews and guidelines to inform best practices that are safe, and effective and are updated regularly based on new forthcoming evidence. The treatment of malignant superior vena cava syndrome, a rare condition where cancer causes obstruction to the blood flow to the heart, is less well studied and has not been reviewed in over a decade. We found that there was very little evidence on common practices like use of steroids or diuretics to treat this condition. The evidence on using conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, were from many decades ago and does not account for new treatments like immunotherapy and biologic therapy. When looking at studies examining endovascular stenting (mechanically opening the blood vessels), these studies demonstrate high success rates and are safe. This paper advocates for incorporation of new and effective treatment including stenting in treating this rare but important condition.
Guests: Dr. Don Thiwanka Wijeratne (Queen’s University) & Dr. Kristin Wright (Queen’s University)
Host: Dr. Charlie Hindmarch (Queen’s University)
Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2023.04.019