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Associate Professor Saurabh Kumar

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Associate Professor Saurabh Kumar

Cardiac radiotherapy for life threatening heart rhythm disorders

Associate Professor Saurabh Kumar, University of Sydney

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2024

Ventricular tachycardia (VT), a dangerous electrical rhythm is the most common cause of sudden death. VT often arises from scar-unhealthy heart tissue created by prior heart attacks. Implanted electronic devices, called defibrillators can prevent death but are not always successful. Medications can suppress VT, but often have dangerous side-effects. Catheter ablation (CA) can be effective in controlling VT, but is also invasive, often carrying risk of complications, especially in advanced heart disease. Options for VT refractory to medications and CA are limited. Stereotactic radiation therapy (SBRT) has been used in oncology to treat cancer with precision targeted photon therapy. Recently, SBRT has been shown in small case series (~50 patients) to be remarkably effective in reduce VT burden in patients with advanced heart disease. SBRT for VT, when compared to CA has not been systematically studied. We propose a randomised controlled trial of SBRT vs standard of care in patients with advanced heart disease refractory to contemporary therapy.

Last updated17 January 2023