Rome, Italy – 28 Aug 2016: Nebivolol prevents anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2016 today by Professor Mirela Cleopatra Tomescu, a cardiologist at Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania.1
“Breast cancer is a major public health problem worldwide, with a death rate of about 1 in 33 patients,” said Professor Tomescu. “Anthracyclines are a class of powerful pharmacological agents widely used in the treatment of breast cancer but they have a toxic effect on the heart, inducing heart failure.”
The goal of the current study was to find a method that detects cardiotoxicity accurately and early, and to see if a cardioprotective drug could prevent heart failure in these patients.
Depressed myocardial contractility is traditionally diagnosed using echocardiography, based on the estimation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and fraction shortening (FS). However, these parameters are affected in the advanced stages of cardiotoxicity. New echocardiographic techniques, such as tissue Doppler, speckle tracking and strain rate imaging, allow the recognition of myocardial dysfunction before heart failure symptoms occur, and before the classical echocardiographic parameters are impaired.
For the cardioprotective drug, the researchers chose nebivolol, a cardioselective beta blocker with anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic and vasodilator properties which is used to treat hypertension and heart failure.
The study group included 60 women with HER-2 negative breast cancer, with a mean age of 52 ± 13 years, scheduled to start chemotherapy with doxorubicin. They were randomly divided into two groups, the control group (n=30) and the nebivolol-treatment group (n=30). Nebivolol was administered at a dose of 5 mg once daily, for the duration of chemotherapy. Cytostatic treatment was performed with doxorubicin 70 mg/m2, administered intravenously alone, every 21 days. There were six cycles of cytotoxic therapy. The average cumulative dose of doxorubicin was 520 ± 8 mg/m2.
Echocardiography was performed at baseline …