Clinical research
Cardiac complications associated with trastuzumab in the setting of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer overexpressing human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 – a prospective study
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Submission date: 2012-01-22
Final revision date: 2012-03-11
Acceptance date: 2012-03-14
Online publication date: 2012-05-09
Publication date: 2012-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2012;8(2):227–235
Introduction: Trastuzumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, is targeted against the external domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). It improves efficacy of HER2-positive breast cancer treatment. The authors present their experience with patients (pts) treated with trastuzumab in the aspects of cardiac complications.
Material and methods: We observed prospectively 253 women with early positive HER2 breast cancer treated with trastuzumab. Assessment of cardiovascular status, ECG and echocardiography was performed initially and every 3 months until 6th month during follow-up.
Results: Cardiac complications developed in 52 pts (20.55%) and included: asymptomatic left ventricle dysfunction (43), symptomatic heart failure (6), new asymptomatic LBBB (1); new negative T-waves in ECG (2). There was a progressive decline in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) during treatment. It was more enhanced in pts with cardiac complications. Following trastuzumab termination/discontinuation LVEF increased but at month 18 still remained significantly lower than initially in both groups (61.07 ±4.84 vs. 59.97 ±5.23 – no cardiac complications; p < 0.05; 58.14 ±4.08% vs. 53.08 ±5.74% – cardiac complications; p < 0.05). During 6-month follow-up 33 out of 46 pts experienced an improvement in left ventricular status. In 13 pts in whom trastuzumab was discontinued, it was restarted; 6 of them successfully completed total therapy. Univariate analysis revealed no association between any cardiovascular risk factor and the development of cardiotoxicity.
Conclusions: One out of five treated patients discontinues trastuzumab in an adjuvant setting due to cardiac complications. LV dysfunction is the most frequent. Routine cardiac monitoring should be obligatory.