Virtual ACC 2020 | Statins Could Also Protect Against Chemotherapy Cardiotoxicity

This retrospective study has shown a reduction in hospitalization for cardiac failure in patients who were already using statins receiving anthracycline and trastuzumab in the context of breast cancer.  

ACC 2020 Virtual | Las estatinas también podrían proteger la cardiotoxicidad de la quimioterapia

The study was to be presented during the ACC 2020 scientific sessions together with the World Congress of Cardiology. However, it had to be called off because of the COVID19 pandemic.

Despite the cardiac risk associated to chemotherapy, anthracycline and trastuzumab are essential to breast cancer treatment. The secret is protecting the heart against its adverse effects. 

Coming from small single-center studies, the evidence supporting statins might protect the heart is limited, yet enough to justify further prospective studies to determine whether statins are indeed effective, and also to understand the physiopathological mechanism behind it. 


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The study gathered data on women over 66 years of age, with no history of cardiac failure, who had been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. The use of statins was defined as having a prescription dispensed in the year prior to chemotherapy. 

723 pairs of women treated with anthracyclines (mean age 69) and 399 treated with trastuzumab (mean age 71) were propensity-matched. 

Risk of hospitalization for cardiac failure resulted significantly lower in patients who had received statins prior to chemotherapy, both for patients treated with anthracyclines (HR 0.42, 0.22 a 0.82; p=0.01) and trastuzumab (HR 0.34, 0.14 a 0.82; p=0.02).


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It is still early to recommend prior treatment with statins in this group of women since the available data is not enough. The link does exist, but the cause-effect relationship should be tested prospectively.

Original Title: Statins are associated with lower risk of heart failure after anthracycline and trastuzumab chemotherapy for early stage breast cáncer.

Reference: Bobrowski D. ACC 2020 virtual.


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