How is a cardiac tumor treated?

Treatment begins with a thorough diagnostic workup to fully characterize the tumor in order to understand the type of tumor, its size and anatomic location, as well as any spread outside of the heart. This typically requires blood work and non-invasive cardiac imaging. The importance of an accurate assessment of a cardiac tumor prior to initiation of therapy cannot be overstated. In collaboration with the Division of Radiology at NYP/Columbia, our Cardiac Tumor Program offers the most advanced non-invasive imaging capabilities available anywhere in the world.

Following characterization of a cardiac tumor, our multi-disciplinary care team, which includes cardiologists, radiologists, oncologists, and cardiac surgeons, sit down together to develop an individualized treatment plan in order to achieve the optimal outcome.

Treatment options are dependent upon several factors including type of tumor, tumor size and location, presence or absence of systemic metastases and the patient's overall health status.

In general, patients with a primary cardiac tumor require surgical resection. However, depending upon the tumor size and location, complete removal may not be possible with standard surgical techniques. Our surgeons are world-renowned and have extensive experience in high-risk and complex cardiac procedures including heart reconstructive surgery, heart replacement therapy with left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or Syncardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH), and heart transplantation.

Following excision of a malignant tumor, patients may require chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to prevent recurrence of the tumor.