Breast Ca Drugs May Harm Heart
According to a new Cancer Research Network study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, women with breast cancer who are treated with anthracycline and trastuzumab may be at more at risk for heart failure than has been previously shown.
An article in Bio-Medicine quotes lead author Erin Aiello Bowles MPH, an epidemiologist at Group Health Research Institute, as noting that chemotherapy can cause cardiac problems through several mechanisms. "These drugs are toxic," she said. "They kill cancer cells, and sometimes kill other cells in the body, too. These drugs are still important for women with breast cancer to use because we know they improve survival. But as with any drug, people need to be aware of the risks, too."
She added that her study shows that people who are not generally eligible for clinical trials, such as older women and those with existing heart failure, "do receive these drugs in real life."