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Cardiovasc Res. 2019 Apr 15;115(5):878-894. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvz020.

Cardiac arrhythmia considerations of hormone cancer therapies.

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Department of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Cardio-Oncology Program, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1211 Medical Center Dr, Nashville, TN, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, Sorbonne Université, INSERM CIC Paris-Est, AP-HP, ICAN, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris F-75013, France.
Department of Oncology, Sorbonne Université, AP-HP, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris F-75013, France.


Breast and prostate cancers are among the most prevalent cancers worldwide. Oestradiol and progesterone are major drivers for breast cancer proliferation, and androgens for prostate cancer. Endocrine therapies are drugs that interfere with hormone-activated pathways to slow cancer progression. Multiple new breakthrough drugs improving overall survival have recently been developed within this class. As the use of these latter drugs grows, incidence of cardiac arrhythmias has emerged as an unappreciated complication. These changes are not surprising given that sex hormones alter ventricular repolarization. Testosterone shortens action potential duration and QT interval duration, while oestradiol has an opposite effect. In patients with breast cancer, selective oestrogen receptor modulators are associated with more reports for long QT and torsade de pointes (TdP) than aromatase inhibitors, likely through an oestradiol-like effect on the heart. Cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors, a new class of anticancer drugs used in combination with endocrine therapies in hormone receptor positive breast cancer, are also variably associated with drug-induced long QT, particularly with ribociclib. In prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy is associated with long QT and TdP, and possibly atrial fibrillation for abiraterone. In this review, we have summarized the clinical and preclinical data focusing on cardiac arrhythmia considerations of hormone cancer therapies.


Androgen deprivation therapy; Anti-cancer drugs; Atrial fibrillation; Breast cancer; Prostate cancer; QT


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