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The Risk of Toxicities from Trastuzumab, Alone or in Combination, in an Elderly Breast Cancer Population

  • Autori: Adamo, V.; Ricciardi, G.; Adamo, B.; Ferraro, G.; Franchina, T.; Rossello, R.; Zanghi, M.; Cicero, G.; Rizzo, S.; Caristi, N.; Russo, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Abstract Background: Breast cancer in the elderly is associated with high recurrence and death rates, due mostly to undertreatment. Human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) overexpression is infrequent in older patients. Trastuzumab- based chemotherapy is often withheld from elderly patients because of its cardiotoxicity. Patients and Methods: Medical records of consecutive HER2-positive breast cancer patients aged ≥ 70 years old treated between 2005 and 2010 in the participating centers were retrospectively reviewed. All patients underwent multidimensional geriatric assessment (MGA). Results: Among 59 patients identified, 51 patients were evaluable (median age 76 years). The rate of any adverse event was 20% (10/51). The most relevant cardiac adverse event consisted of symptomatic congestive heart failure (CHF; n = 1, 2%) followed by asymptomatic decreases of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF; n = 6, 12%). Other toxicities included moderate hypersensitivity reactions during trastuzumab infusions (n = 3, 6%). Hypertension, obesity, prior anthracyclines exposure and concurrent chemotherapy were associated with a higher incidence of toxic events. Previous radiotherapy, concurrent endocrine therapy and different trastuzumab-based regimens did not seem to influence toxicity. Conclusions: Our data suggest that trastuzumab has a good safety profile in nonfrail women aged 70 years and older. These favorable findings may be related to a limited number of anthracycline pretreatments, patient selection and a close cardiologic monitoring.