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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jul;122(2):585-90. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0730-5. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors may be protective against cardiac complications following anthracycline chemotherapy.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology/Transplantation, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street, S.E., MMC 480, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Doxorubicin (DOX), despite causing cardiac toxicity, is an anthracycline chemotherapeutic agent that plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) may protect against cardiac toxicity in patients receiving DOX chemotherapy. A total of 143 patients receiving DOX at the Masonic Comprehensive Cancer Clinic, University of Minnesota, who had two or more multigated blood pool imaging (MUGA) scans or echocardiograms performed between 2004 and 2007 were identified and reviewed. Patients with a 10% absolute drop in their ejection fraction (EF) or more to below 55% were identified and compared with those that did not have a 10% decline in EF. Impact of patient variables and the use of concurrent medications on EF drop were evaluated using logistic regression. Median age was 52 years old. 85 (60%) were female. Cancer diagnosis was breast (n = 26), lymphoma (n = 92), and other (n = 25). In spite of a similar baseline EF in all the patients, 22/142 (15%) patients had a significant drop in EF during DOX chemotherapy. Adjusting for age, the odds ratio of EF drop associated with the use of ACE-I is 0.267 (P = 0.0940), suggesting that ACE-I has a protective effect. Cumulative DOX dose, the use of beta-blockers, or aspirin did not appear to be predictive or protective. Although not statistically significant, this study suggests that the use of ACE-I when given with DOX chemotherapy protects against DOX chemotherapy and warrants further investigation.

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