Cardiomyopathy in Chemotherapy Patients

As president and CEO of Tosk, Inc., Brian Frenzel oversees research into blocking drug side effects that can be dose-limiting and potentially fatal. Focused largely on the chemotherapy field, Brian Frenzel has managed the development of compounds that reduces the cardiotoxicity of drugs such as doxorubicin, also known as Adriamycin.

Designed to kill cancer cells throughout the body, chemotherapies also attack healthy cells and cause painful and debilitating side effects. When these drugs attack the heart muscle, the patient may develop a condition known as cardiomyopathy. This condition can result in arrhythmia or chronic disease of the heart. In some cases, chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity can lead congestive heart failure, which is potentially fatal.

Most chemotherapy-related cardiomyopathies develop as a result of the use of doxorubicin or its derivatives. Since the damage to the heart is permanent, the risk of heart disease limits the recommended lifetime dose of doxorubicin to 450-550 milligrams per square meter, or about a gram for a typical patient. Even at this limited dose, 3-5% of patients experience congestive heart failure, and 25% have some degree of cardiomyopathy.

Tosk is developing drugs to reduce or eliminate the cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin and thereby improve outcomes for cancer patients.


Possible Side Effects of Cisplatin

An experienced investor and entrepreneur in the healthcare field, Brian Frenzel received both bachelor of science and master of business administration degrees from Stanford University. He currently serves as President and CEO Tosk, Inc., a biopharmaceutical discovery and development company. Under Brian Frenzel’s leadership, the company works to improve outcomes for cancer patients by developing new drugs that block the adverse side effects of chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin and carbonation.

Designed to treat and destroy cancer cells in ovarian, bladder, and testicular cancers, among others, cisplatin is an intravenous drug administered under the supervision of an oncologist. Although it is effective in fighting cancer, especially testicular cancer, it can cause a range of side effects, including unusual tiredness and weakness, bleeding and bruising, and hearing loss. Common serious side effects include a loss of balance, joint pain, and swollen or sore legs and feet. Less common serious side effects include convulsions (seizures), loss of reflexes, loss of taste, numbness or tingling in fingers or toes, and trouble in walking. Tosk aims to eliminate most of all of these serious and potentially debilitating side effects.