Cardiotoxicity during long-term trastuzumab use in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: who needs cardiac monitoring?
Purpose: Patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) usually receive many years of trastuzumab treatment. It is unknown whether these patients require continuous left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) monitoring. We studied a real-world cohort to identify risk factors for cardiotoxicity to select patients in whom LVEF monitoring could be omitted. Methods: We included patients with HER2-positive MBC who received > 1 cycle of trastuzumab-based therapy in eight Dutch hospitals between 2000 and 2014. Cardiotoxicity was defined as LVEF < 50% that declined > 10%-points and was categorized into non-severe cardiotoxicity (LVEF 40–50%) and severe cardiotoxicity (LVEF < 40%). Multivariable Cox and mixed model analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with cardiotoxicity. Additionally, we explored the reversibility of cardiotoxicity in patients who continued trastuzumab. Results: In total, 429 patients were included. Median follow-up for cardiotoxicity was 15 months (interquartile range 8–31 months). The yearly incidence of non-severe + severe cardiotoxicity in the first and second year was 11.7% and 9.1%, respectively, which decreased thereafter. The yearly incidence of severe cardiotoxicity was low (2.8%) and stable over time. In non-smoking patients with baseline LVEF > 60% and no cardiotoxicity during prior neoadjuvant/adjuvant treatment, the cumulative incidence of severe cardiotoxicity was 3.1% after 4 years of trastuzumab. Despite continuing trastuzumab, LVEF decline was reversible in 56% of patients with non-severe cardiotoxicity and in 33% with severe cardiotoxicity. Conclusions: Serial cardiac monitoring can be safely omitted in non-smoking patients with baseline LVEF > 60% and without cardiotoxicity during prior neoadjuvant/adjuvant treatment.