Assessment of Cardiotoxicity by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Trastuzumab

Official Title

Assessment of Cardiotoxicity by Cardiac MRI Versus MUGA Scans in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Trastuzumab: A Double-Blinded Prospective Observational Pilot Study


Herceptin has shown significant improvement in breast cancer therapy and improved survival of patients over-expressing the HER-2 protein by 50%. However, Herceptin has shown to negatively affect the heart, and frequent heart monitoring with multiple gated acquisition (MUGA) scans is required. MUGA scans use radiation and are not very accurate. This study will use cardiac magnetic resonance images (CMRs) to evaluate heart function and compare to MUGA scans in patients receiving Herceptin for early-stage breast cancer. In addition, novel biomarkers will also be assessed at the same time to help identify possible patients at risk for developing heart toxicities.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • To compare CMR with MUGA scans for determining LVEF and LV volumes in breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab.
Secondary Outcome:
  • To examine the association between changes in biomarker levels and changes in cardiac structure and function as measured by CMR in breast cancer patients receiving trastuzumab.
Currently, serial MUGA scans are the imaging modality of choice for monitoring cardiotoxicity. However, MUGA scans only measure LVEF at the cost of ionizing radiation and considerable inter-study variability, and do not reliably detect cardiomyopathy. CMR is a highly accurate technique and represents a promising imaging alternative. Because CMR is now considered the gold standard for measuring LVEF and subclinical alterations in cardiac structure and function, it will be used in this prospective observational pilot study to determine its effectiveness for monitoring cardiotoxicity in patients receiving trastuzumab. Serial CMR will be compared to serial MUGA scans, as they are routinely used for LVEF monitoring with trastuzumab therapy, in standard practice. Cardiac biomarkers will also be measured in relation to CMR and MUGA scans. Furthermore, we will determine the long-term clinical and prognostic implications of trastuzumab-induced cardiotoxicity detected by these various methods. This will be a double-blinded prospective observational pilot study of breast cancer patients with overexpression of HER2 on breast pathology (using either immunohistochemistry [IHC] and/or fluorescence in-situ hybridization [FISH]), who have never received trastuzumab before, who will be treated with trastuzumab.

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Canadian Cancer Society

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