The incidence of cardiomyopathy in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers after anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy
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Breast cancer remains the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 10% of breast cancers are hereditary, with deleterious mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes being the leading cause. Anthracycline chemotherapy, used commonly for breast cancer, carries cardiotoxicity risk. Recent studies demonstrated anthracycline-induced cardiac failure in homozygous BRCA2-deficient mice and increased rates of heart failure in homozygous BRCA1-deficient mice following ischemic insult. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective matched cohort study to determine the rates of anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy in breast cancer patients with germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes compared to age-matched patients without a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
The primary endpoint was to determine the rate of cardiomyopathy defined as either congestive heart failure or asymptomatic decline in ejection fraction to <50%. A total of 102 breast cancer patients who were BRCA gene mutation carriers (55 BRCA1, 45 BRCA2, and two with both), who received anthracycline-based chemotherapy were compared to a matched cohort of breast cancer patients with wild-type BRCA gene status.
We found a 4.9% rate of cardiomyopathy in the BRCA mutation carriers and 5.2% in the matched controls (p = 0.99). Cox proportional hazards model showed that only trastuzumab and hypertension were significantly associated with the development of cardiomyopathy in both groups (p < 0.05).
Given the limitations of a retrospective study, we saw no increased risk of cardiotoxicity among breast cancer patients with BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations treated with standard doses of anthracycline compared to the general population.
KeywordsBRCA1 BRCA2 Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity
This study was supported, in part, by the Baylor University Medical Center, Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center Trainee Cancer Research Award.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was approved by the Baylor Scott & White Institutional Review Board.
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