BACKGROUND: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and beta-blockers (BB) are suggested to prevent and treat trastuzumab-related cardiac toxicity. We performed a prospective clinical trial in women experiencing mild cardiac toxicity (MCT) while on adjuvant treatment with trastuzumab.
METHODS: MCT was defined as an asymptomatic absolute decrease in LVEF of ≥ 10 percentage units to >50%. Treatment consisted of enalapril 2.5 mg bid and carvedilol 3.75 mg bid, which were up-titrated to 10 mg bid for the enalapril and 6,25 mg bid of carvedilol. In patients receiving study drug, the primary study end-point was LVEF recovery, which was defined as a post-trastuzumab LVEF returning to no less than -5 percentage points of the baseline value.
RESULTS: 103 patients were enrolled, 100 started trastuzumab, and 98 completed the planned treatment. Sixteen patients (16%) had MCT and received study drugs until trastuzumab completion. None of these patients achieved a post-trastuzumab LVEF recovery. Nevertheless, treated patients had significantly higher median LVEF recovery from nadir to post-trastuzumab LVEF in (8% points vs. 4% points, respectively, p = 0.004), resulting in no difference in post-treatment LVEF values compared to patients without MCT.
CONCLUSION: Treatment of MCT with ACEis and BB allows faster LVEF recovery from nadir values and should be further studied in this setting.