Navigation Links
Herceptin May Carry Higher Heart Risks for Women Than Thought
Date:11/15/2012

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The risks of developing heart problems while taking the breast cancer drug Herceptin alone or with other anti-cancer drugs may be even higher for older women than thought, new research indicates.

Herceptin (trastuzumab) has long been used to treat breast cancers that overproduce HER-2, also known as human epidermal growth factor. The drug improves disease-free and overall survival, but experts have known that it increases the risk of heart failure because it can affect the ability of the heart to pump blood. It can also raise the chances of developing cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle becomes enlarged or rigid.

Now, a new study that focused on women aged 67 and older has found that the risk may be higher than believed. The report is published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

For older women, the message is this, said study leader Dr. Jersey Chen, an assistant professor of cardiology at the Yale University School of Medicine: "You should know that your risk of developing heart failure or cardiomyopathy may be higher than what is quoted to you [by your doctor]."

Those earlier estimates, Chen said, are based on clinical trials that mainly looked at younger and, in some cases, healthier women.

In those studies, the risk of heart failure, for instance, increased by about 1.6 percent for women on Herceptin. In Chen's new research, the team found that Herceptin or Herceptin given with the anti-cancer drugs known as anthracyclines, raise the risk of either heart failure or cardiomyopathy by about 9 percent in the first year compared to no chemotherapy.

Chen looked at more than 45,000 women, aged 67 and older, who had early-stage breast cancer and were treated with a variety of regimens from 2000 to 2007.

The researchers followed them for three years to see who developed heart problems.

The rates of either heart failure or cardiomyopathy were higher for those getting Herceptin and anthracyclines, either separately or together, than those who did not receive chemotherapy.

Put in other terms, for every 100 patients, 32 of those on Herceptin and 42 of those on Herceptin and anthracycline had developed cardiac problems by the three-year mark, compared to 19 of every 100 patients who did not get adjuvant therapy.

Women who are on these therapies, Chen said, may need to seek additional monitoring. They should discuss the risks and benefits of the treatment with their doctors.

Women should also put these risks in perspective, said Dr. Xianglin Du, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston who has also studied cardiac problems linked with the drugs.

"Overall, their findings were consistent with what were found in our study published a year ago," she said. "Because many studies demonstrated that the addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy significantly prolongs survival, women with breast cancer are advised to talk to their oncologists to weigh the benefits against potential risks for a better informed decision."

She agreed that closer monitoring may be needed.

The study was funded by the American Heart Association and a collaborative agreement by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. One co-author is a consultant to Celegene, GlaxoSmithKline, Abraxis Bioscience, GTX, Amgen and Genentech.

More information

To learn more about Herceptin, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Jersey Chen, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, cardiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Xianglin Du, M.D., Ph.D., professor, epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston; Nov. 14, 2012, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. African Chimps Carry Drug-Resistant, Human-Linked Staph
2. Some Schools Dont Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
3. People Carrying Guns May Appear Bigger Than They Are
4. Certain Birth Control Pills May Carry Higher Blood Clot Risk: FDA
5. Higher proportion of California children uninsured than in US, USC analysis shows
6. Diabetic patients have higher prevalence of hearing impairment
7. Job stress and mental health problems contribute to higher rates of physician suicide
8. Pregnant Women With Bipolar Disorder May Have Higher Risk of Premature Birth
9. Common Antidepressants Tied to Higher Bleeding Risk in Warfarin Users: Study
10. Heart Failure Patients May Be at Higher Risk for Cancer: Study
11. Higher dietary glycemic load linked to worse colon cancer survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Herceptin May Carry Higher Heart Risks for Women Than Thought 
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Preora Diagnostics Inc. , ... tests, has received two prestigious recognitions that acknowledge the promise of its PWS ... Preora has been named a Top 100 Finalist for the 16th annual Chicago ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... A ... addiction recovery at a time when Virginia faces an opioid epidemic. ... a staggering increase of 38 percent from 2015, underscoring the need for additional ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... senior housing operators, announces the acquisition of Isle at Kingwood Assisted Living and ... Kingwood is an established retirement community with 55 assisted living apartments, 43 memory ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... In the inaugural 30-minute ... Emeritus Professor of Education Gregory A. Smith examines student privacy issues with University ... Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking . , Join ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... FirstAlign ... (CoE) with the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) thinking, announced today the launch of ... easy access to essential information that offers a more comprehensive understanding of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing ... of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... --  ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based revenue ... been ranked #1 by its users for the seventh consecutive ... Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue cycle ... over 200 beds and holds one of the longest #1 ... ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare ... Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , ... hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider ... PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... device used to measure lung function for a variety ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: