CABOT – Determining the cardiac biomarker profile in Breast Cancer patients receiving adjuvant trastuzumab therapy

Researchers: Principal Investigator: B. Dhesy


Bindi Dhesy

Status: Funded 2010
Study closed to Accrual. Analysis in process

Doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug used commonly in women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer to prevent recurrent cancer. Although it is a very effective agent in fighting breast cancer, it can cause permanent damage to the muscle of the heart. Approximately 25% of breast cancers overexpress a gene called HER2 neu. As a result of this change the cancer is more aggressive than a cancer which has the normal amount of this gene. There is a drug called trastuzumab which is very effective in targeting and killing cancers which overexpress HER2 neu. Unfortunately this drug can cross react with the heart tissue and damage the heart. Currently women with breast cancer who receiver doxorubicin followed by trastuzumab are monitored by nuclear cardiac imaging. However such testing is not very good at assessing cardiac damage.
Dr. Dhesy and colleagues are conducting a study to evaluate whether blood tests called cardiac biomarkers (troponins and pro-brain natiuretic peptides) which are sensitive to very small amounts of heart muscle injury can detect very early damage to heart muscle in patients receiving doxorubicin and trastuzumab. If this were to be the case, then these drugs could be discontinued before there was any permanent damage to the heart.
The study has completed accrual of 25 participants. Study analysis is currently taking place.