Cardio-Oncology Program

Cancer Treatment May Damage the Heart

Cardiac care may not be the first thing on a patient’s mind when fighting cancer, however, cancer and cardiovascular issues are closely linked. A number of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy as well as targeted cancer therapies, may damage the heart and lead to cardiovascular toxicity. For instance, some chemotherapy agents can cause congestive heart failure, and other treatment agents can lead to a variety of cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythm. Radiation therapies may also pose a risk to the health of your heart and may lead to late side effects such as premature coronary artery disease, damage to valves in the heart and cardiac rhythm disturbances.

The Cardio-Oncology Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between oncologists and cardiologists who are highly proficient in the care of cancer patients. The program offers adult and pediatric patients specialized care to identify and minimize the risk of heart disease throughout the cancer journey.

Protecting your heart before, during and after cancer treatment.

Managing Cardiac Heath

Cardiology and oncology specialists at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, together with Rutgers Cancer Institute, collaborate to prevent and combat heart damage caused by treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, an effect known as cardiotoxicity. These side effects may occur at the time of therapy or years after treatment during survivorship. For patients with preexisting heart disease, proactive steps are taken to detect, monitor, and treat cardiac conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and vascular disease throughout cancer treatment and also after completion of therapy as part of survivorship.

Who We Treat

The Cardio-Oncology Program cares for an array of patient groups including adult and pediatric cancer survivors not currently under the management of a cardiologist, or who desire additional consultation; individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and treatments have been identified as being potentially harmful to the heart; individuals with a preexisting heart condition or have been identified as being at an increased risk for developing heart disease; and those who have completed cancer treatment and are experiencing cardiac issues or who may need closer surveillance due to prior potentially cardiotoxic treatments.

The Cardio-Oncology Program is currently offered at multiple hospitals within the RWJBarnabas Health system, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Clara Maass Medical Center and Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.


Participating Physicians

Rutgers Cancer Institute/RWJUH New Brunswick


Andrew M. Evens, DO, MBA, MSc

Deborah Toppmeyer, MD


Sabha Bhatti, MD

John Kassotis, MD

Brandon Oberweis, MD


Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Peter Cole, MD

Margaret Masterson, MD

Pediatric Cardiologists

Benjamin J. Lentzner, MD

Joseph Gaffney, MD

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center


Alice Cohen, MD

Maya M. Shah, MD


Marc Cohen, MD, FACC

Clara Maass Medical Center


James Orsini Sr., MD


Fadi Chaaban, MD

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center


Michael Scoppetuolo, Jr., MD


Sarah Y. Fan, MD

Susan L. Simandl, MD

Monmouth Medical Center


Seth Cohen, MD


Julie Master, DO


Trinitas Regional Medical Center


Michelle Cholankeril, MD 

Gerardo Capo, MD

Raja Pullatt, MD