Conference Coverage

Therapy ups breast cancer survivors’ cardiac risks



Treatment options for LVEF decline

The package insert for trastuzumab recommends withholding the drug for a minimum of 4 weeks if the patient has a 16% or greater decline in LVEF from baseline, or a 10% or greater decline from baseline to below the lower limit of normal. The insert recommends LVEF monitoring every 3 or 4 weeks, and says that trastuzumab can be resumed if LVEF improves to above the lower limit of normal with an absolute decrease from baseline of not more than 15%. The insert also states, however, that “the safety of continuation or resumption of trastuzumab in patients with trastuzumab induced LV dysfunction has never been studied, “ Dr. Liu noted.

She cited an American Society of Clinical Oncology guideline on the prevention and monitoring of cardiac dysfunction in survivors of adult cancers, which states in part that the decision to continue or discontinue cancer therapy in patients with evidence of cardiac dysfunction “made by the oncologist, should be informed by close collaboration with a cardiologist, fully evaluating the clinical circumstances and considering the risks and benefits of continuation of therapy responsible for the cardiac dysfunction.”

“I want to emphasize the importance of accepting and managing cardiovascular risk in patients priors to and during potentially cardiotoxic therapy. To optimize cardiologic and oncologic outcomes, we need to avoid or minimize treatment interruptions of life-saving therapy, and mitigate cardiac events with aggressive cardiovascular risk-factor modification,” Dr. Liu said.

She called for development of better risk stratification tools to tailor cardiac surveillance during therapy, based on both patient-specific and treatment-specific risk factors.

Dr. Liu reported nothing to disclose. Dr. Nguyen reported consulting fees/honoraria from Astellas, Augmenix, Blue Earth Diagnostics. Cota, Dendreon, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. GenomeDx, Janssen, and Nanobiotix.


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