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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Mar 10;26(8):1231-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.5467. Epub 2008 Feb 4.

Cardiac safety analysis of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel with or without trastuzumab in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group N9831 adjuvant breast cancer trial.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA. perez.edith@mayo.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess cardiac safety and potential cardiac risk factors associated with trastuzumab in the NCCTG N9831 Intergroup adjuvant breast cancer trial.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Patients with HER2-positive operable breast cancer were randomly assigned to doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide (AC) followed by either weekly paclitaxel (arm A); paclitaxel then trastuzumab (arm B); or paclitaxel plus trastuzumab then trastuzumab alone (arm C). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was evaluated at registration and 3, 6, 9, and 18 to 21 months.

RESULTS:

Of 2,992 patients completing AC, 5.0% had LVEF decreases disallowing trastuzumab (decrease below normal: 2.4%, decrease > 15%: 2.6%). There were 1,944 patients with satisfactory or no LVEF evaluation who proceeded to post-AC therapy. Cardiac events (congestive heart failure [CHF] or cardiac death [CD]): arm A, n = 3 (2 CHF, 1 CD); arm B, n = 19 (18 CHF, 1 CD); arm C, n = 19 (all CHF); 3-year cumulative incidence: 0.3%, 2.8%, and 3.3%, respectively. Cardiac function improved in most CHF cases following trastuzumab discontinuation and cardiac medication. Factors associated with increased risk of a cardiac event in arms B and C: older age (P < .003), prior/current antihypertensive agents (P = .005), and lower registration LVEF (P = .033). Incidence of asymptomatic LVEF decreases requiring holding trastuzumab was 8% to 10%; LVEF recovered and trastuzumab was restarted in approximately 50%.

CONCLUSION:

The cumulative incidence of post-AC cardiac events at 3 years was higher in the trastuzumab-containing arms versus the control arm, but by less than 4%. Older age, lower registration LVEF, and antihypertensive medications are associated with increased risk of cardiac dysfunction in patients receiving trastuzumab following AC.

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