Meet Dr. Vlad Gabriel Zaha Onco-Cardiology Specialist in Dallas

Vlad Gabriel Zaha, M.D., Ph.D., is one of the few onco-cardiologists in the Dallas area. An onco-cardiology specialist treats patients with heart problems resulting from cancer treatment or from the cancer itself.

Treatments with chemotherapy and radiation help you in your battle with cancer, but can damage a healthy heart or worsen symptoms of heart disease.

Dr. Zaha will work closely with your oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, and surgical teams to protect your heart while your cancer treatment is optimized.

“When you are in the early diagnostic stages, you may need an evaluation of your heart to determine how it will be affected by your treatment,” he says. “We may be able to prevent severe complications, some of which are irreversible.”

Even when you are a survivor of cancer at a young age, you may benefit from an evaluation for potential long-term risks for your heart health of the therapies you received.

Dr. Zaha has specialized training in onco-cardiology and multimodality cardiovascular imaging, which is an important part of the heart evaluation process.

During a visit with Dr. Zaha, you receive a thorough assessment of your risk factors, such as existing cardiovascular issues; metabolic disorders, including diabetes; physical fitness level; symptoms, if any; lab evaluations; and, if required, advanced cardiovascular imaging. Results of this evaluation determine your heart health risks and how often you need to return to see Dr. Zaha.

“While every patient’s situation is different, it’s part of my job to help each in turn to understand how we can help keep their heart healthy during and after cancer treatment, what is expected, and what may need immediate attention,” Dr. Zaha says. “Some side effects of cancer treatment may be serious if not caught early, while others are transitory. Some side effects can occur immediately during treatment, while others develop late, years after the cancer has been treated.”

Through his research, Dr. Zaha is exploring ways to integrate novel noninvasive diagnostic tests in clinical use. For example, he is studying mitochondrial function, or the energy source of the heart, to find ways to diagnose heart dysfunction sooner by detecting changes in the way the chemical energy in the heart is generated.

“My research integrates well with my clinical side because I can apply my findings directly to cancer patients I see in my clinic every day,” he says.