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Acta Oncol. 2012 Nov;51(8):1054-61. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2012.702920. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Long-term heart function after adjuvant epirubicin chemotherapy for breast cancer.

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1
Department of Cardiology, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. jomiap02@heh.regionh.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Newer studies raise concern that adjuvant anthracycline treatment for breast cancer (BC) causes long-term heart damage. We aimed to examine whether heart failure or impairment could be demonstrated several years after low-dose epirubicin-based adjuvant treatment.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The study-population was a historical cohort comprising 980 women who were randomized to receive one of two adjuvant regimens for treatment for BC: 7-9 cycles of cyclophosphamide-epirubicin-5-fluorouracil [CEF (600 + 60 + 600 mg/m(2))] or cyclophosphamide-methotrexate-5- fluorouracil [CMF (600 + 40 + 600 mg/m(2))]. We collected information in national registries of death and diagnoses and a sample of 77 survivors was examined with tissue-Doppler imaging (TDI), echocardiography, radionuclide ventriculography and N-terminal-pro-B-type-natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), an established marker for heart failure.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

Median follow-up was 12 years (39 days-20 years). Fifty-one percent had died. Incidence of CHF was 2.6/1000/year and equal in the treatment groups. In the sample, individuals who had received CEF showed no cardiac impairment when compared to individuals who received CMF. NT-proBNP-levels were within normal limits but higher in the CEF-group than in the CMF-group (confidence limits 105-226%, p = 0.03). Results of our study seem reassuring regarding the long-term risk of cardiotoxicity following low-dose adjuvant epirubicin treatment. However, larger, longitudinal studies are needed to establish the clinical implications.

PMID:
22909389
DOI:
10.3109/0284186X.2012.702920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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