Long-term cardiac safety analysis of NCCTG N9831 (Alliance) adjuvant trastuzumab trial

Pooja P. Advani, Karla V. Ballman, Travis J. Dockter, Gerardo Colon-Otero, Edith A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose Significant improvement in survival outcomes has been established with the addition of trastuzumab to adjuvant chemotherapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) 'positive early breast cancer treatment. However, trastuzumab may increase the risk of cardiac toxicity, and longterm evaluation of its incidence and risk factors are warranted. Methods NCCTG (Alliance) N9831 trial compared adjuvant doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) followed by either weekly paclitaxel (arm A); paclitaxel then trastuzumab (arm B); or paclitaxel plus trastuzumab followed by trastuzumab alone (arm C) in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Cumulative incidence of cardiac events (CE) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were evaluated in 1,944 women who proceeded to post-AC therapy. Risk factors for trastuzumab-induced cardiac toxicity were identified by Cox regression models. Results The 6-year cumulative incidence of CE was 0.6% in arm A, 2.8% in arm B, and 3.4% in arm C. At a median follow-up of 9.2 years, only two additional CHF diagnoses (of 1,046 patients) occurred beyond our previously reported follow-up time of 3.75 years. LVEF recovered in the majority of the patients who developed CHF. There were two cardiac deaths in arm A and one each in arms B and C. Age of 60 years or older, registration LVEF less than 65%, and use of antihypertensive medications were associated with an increased risk of CE in arms B and C. Conclusion The cumulative incidence of CE at 6 years was slightly higher with the addition of trastuzumab; however, the late development of CE is infrequent. Trastuzumab (in the context of anthracyclineand taxane-based therapy) continues to have a favorable benefit-risk ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-587
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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