Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease: A Snapshot

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Aurora Burds Connor and Sarvesh Varma

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The top two causes of death in the United States are cardiovascular disease and cancer. Most people do not realize that some chemotherapies convert cancer survivors into cardiovascular patients because treatments for cancer can damage the heart and blood vessels. Our work is focused on protecting these tissues as doctors treat cancer patients. In order to do so, we must understand the link between chemotherapeutics and the initiation of human cardiovascular disease using preclinical mouse models. In this image we showcase size and delicacy of the tissues as well as the cellular responses we are analyzing. On the left we show the cells that are key players in regulating cardiovascular function. They line the blood vessel coming from the heart in the center of the image. We took the picture of the heart next to the penny to show the delicate nature of the work, and the image of the cells was taken to study the cellular responses to treatment.