Cardiac safety of dual anti-HER2 therapy in the neoadjuvant setting for treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer

Anthony F. Yu, Jasmeet C. Singh, Rui Wang, Jennifer E. Liu, Anne Eaton, Kevin C. Oeffinger, Richard M. Steingart, Clifford A. Hudis, Chau T. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are approved for the neoadjuvant treatment of human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, but cardiac safety data is limited. We report the cardiac safety of dose-dense doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) followed by paclitaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab (THP) in the neoadjuvant setting followed by adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy. Methods. Fifty-seven patients treated with neoadjuvant dose-dense AC-THP followed by adjuvant trastuzumabbased therapy between September 1, 2013, and March 1, 2015, were identified. The primary outcome was cardiac event rate, defined by heart failure (New York Heart Association [NYHA] class III/IV) or cardiac death. Patients underwent left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) monitoring at baseline, after AC, and serially during 1 year of anti-HER2 therapy. Results. The median age was 46 years (range 26-68). Two (3.5%) patients developed NYHA class III/IV heart failure 5 and 9 months after initiation of trastuzumab-based therapy, leading to permanent discontinuation of anti-HER2 treatment. Seven (12.3%) patients developed a significant LVEF decline (without NYHA class III/IV symptoms). The median LVEF was 65% (range 55%-75%) at baseline and 64% (range 53%-72%) after AC, and decreased to 60% (range 35%-70%), 60% (range 23%-73%), 61% (range 25%-73%), and 58% (range 28%-66%) after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months (± 6 weeks) of trastuzumab-based therapy. Conclusion. The incidence of NYHA class III/IV heart failure after neoadjuvant AC-THP (followed by adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy) is comparable to rates reported in trials of sequential doxorubicin and trastuzumab. Our findings do not suggest an increased risk of cardiotoxicity from trastuzumab plus pertuzumab following a doxorubicin-based regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Roche/Genentech. This work was funded in part through the NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748.

Publisher Copyright:
© AlphaMed Press 2017.


  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Pertuzumab
  • Trastuzumab


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