Statins may protect heart from breast cancer chemotherapy

Researchers concluded that statins may be a potential intervention for preventing heart failure in patients receiving chemotherapy.
Statins may protect heart from breast cancer chemotherapy

Patients with early-stage breast cancer who take statins are less likely to present at hospital with heart failure following chemotherapy, an observational study in the Journal of the American Heart Association has suggested (6 January 2021)​[1]​.  

Researchers at the Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Canada, used several health databases in Ontario to review the occurrence of heart failure among women with early-stage breast cancer treated with anthracyclines or trastuzumab. As cardiotoxicity is an adverse effect of these two agents, the team wanted to assess the impact of statin treatment among this cohort of women.  

The researchers matched women from the databases, who were being treated with statins in addition to their breast cancer treatment, with cases not being treated with statins.  

Among 666 pairs of women treated with anthracyclines, those taking statins were less likely to be treated for heart failure (1.2% vs 2.9%; P=0.01) in the five years following chemotherapy. Among 390 pairs of women treated with trastuzumab, those taking statins were also less likely to be treated for heart failure (2.7% vs 3.7%; P=0.09) but the trend did not reach statistical significance.  

“Our findings support the idea that statins may be a potential intervention for preventing heart failure in patients receiving chemotherapy with anthracyclines and, potentially, trastuzumab,” said Husam Abdel-Qadir, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, Toronto, Canada, and lead author of the study. 

  1. 1
    Abdel‐Qadir H, Bobrowski D, Zhou L, et al. Statin Exposure and Risk of Heart Failure After Anthracycline‐ or Trastuzumab‐Based Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer: A Propensity Score‒Matched Cohort Study. JAHA 2021;10. doi:10.1161/jaha.119.018393
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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, March 2021, Vol 306, No 7947;306(7947)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.48791