Cardiac function in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with history of breast cancer treated with anthracyclines

Ana Barac, Filipa Lynce, Karen L. Smith, Mihriye Mete, Nawar M. Shara, Federico M. Asch, Madeline P. Nardacci, Lynette Wray, Pia Herbolsheimer, Raquel A. Nunes, Sandra M. Swain, Robert Warren, Beth N. Peshkin, Claudine Isaacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Animal data suggest that defects in BRCA1/2 genes significantly increase the risk of heart failure and mortality in mice exposed to doxorubicine. Women with BRCA1/2 mutations who develop breast cancer (BC) may receive anthracyclines but their risk of cardiac dysfunction has not been investigated. Our study tested the hypothesis that women with history of BRCA1/2 mutation-associated BC treated with anthracyclines have impaired parameters of cardiac function compared to similarly treated women with history of sporadic BC. Women with history of BC and anthracycline treatment underwent an echocardiographic exam for assessment of primary outcomes, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and global longitudinal strain (GLS). The sample size of 81 provided 79 % power with two-sided two-sample t test and alpha of 0.05 to detect a clinically meaningful difference in cardiac function of absolute 5 % points difference for LVEF and 2 % points difference for GLS. Of 81 normotensive participants, 39 were BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and 42 in the sporadic group. Mean age was 50 ± 9 years in both groups (P = 0.99) but BRCA1/2 mutation carriers had longer anthracycline treatment-to-enrollment time (7.5 ± 5.3 vs. 4.2 ± 3.3 years, P = 0.001). There were no significant differences in LVEF (P = 0.227) or GLS (P = 0.53) between the groups. LVEF was normal in 91 % of women and subclinical cardiac dysfunction defined as absolute GLS value <18.9 % was seen in 4 (10 %) BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and 7 (17 %) sporadic participants. In this first prospective examination of cardiac function in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, we found no significant differences in sensitive echocardiographic parameters of cardiac function between BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and women with history of sporadic BC who received anthracycline treatment. In contrast to laboratory animal data, our findings indicate lack of elevated cardiac risk with the use of standard-doses of adjuvant anthracyclines in treatment of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with early stage BC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthracycline
  • BRCA1/2 mutation
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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