Background: Treatment with Trastuzumab is associated with cardiotoxicity. If Trastuzumab could be administered in a safe manner to patients who develop a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) of < 50% remains poorly understood.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of a cardioncological approach in terms of adherence and continuation of oncological therapy with Trastuzumab.
Methods and Results: Internal databases of candidates for trastuzumab chemotherapy with evidence of cardiotoxicity according to echocardiographic criteria were retrospectively evaluated. Eighty-four female patients (age 51.7 years, 95% CI 49.5-53.8), were finally included. Patients were divided to receive a standard (n 27) or cardioncological (n 57) scheme. Baseline EF values were within normal limits (60.9, 95% CI 60 - 61.9%; p=0.5 between groups). The nadir of EF observed during trastuzumab therapy was more pronounced in the standard care group (40.6, 95% CI 37.3-43.9% vs. 46.3, 95% CI 44.3-48.3%; p=0.002). At re-challenge, after cardiotoxicity detection, all patients in the cardioncological arm resumed and completed trastuzumab therapy (p<0.0001). An overall reduction of EF was observed at the final evaluation (p <0.0001 vs. baseline). Cardioncological approach was the only independent determinant of ΔEF from baseline to final evaluation (R20.12; p=0.004). We observed a total of 13 (15%) HF events, seven (26%) in the standard, and six (10%) in the cardioncological approach group (p =0.1). Patients in the cardioncological approach arm had a better outcome (Log Rank Chi-squared 4.89; p=0.02).
Conclusions: A targeted cardioncological approach, in patients with evidence of cardiotoxicity during HER-2 inhibitor therapy, could favorably influence the oncological management of breast cancer patients, reducing the adverse cardiovascular impact of chemotherapy.