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Long-term Use of Herceptin Does Not Increase Heart Failure in Patients

CHICAGO, A five-year follow-up of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) trial B-31, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago states that the risk of congestive heart failure in women treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and combination chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer did not increase over time.

The research team developed a prediction model based on these findings. The model will help oncologists to assess the risk of heart failure in individual breast cancer patients before treatment with Herceptin and chemotherapy. These findings, to be announced at the Womens Cancers press briefing at the meeting, will be published in Abstract LBA513 in the ASCO proceedings.

The information we obtained from this study is essential to understanding womens risks for congestive heart failure associated with adding Herceptin to combination chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment, said Priya Rastogi, M.D., study presenter and assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and assistant director of medical affairs, NSABP. Were encouraged that we found no increase in heart failure risks long-term and now are able to use this knowledge to individualize womens treatment based on their specific cardiac risk factors.

The study assessed cardiac side effects in 1,850 women with HER-2 positive breast cancer those who have abnormally high levels of the HER2/neu protein for five years. Study participants were initially randomized to receive four cycles of a standard combination chemotherapy regimen, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel, or doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel and Herceptin.

The incidence of congestive heart failure was compared between the two groups. Initial three-year follow-up results reported that although Herceptin provides a clear and notable benefit to women with HER-2 po
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