Study Finds Herceptin Does Not Increase Risk of Heart Failure in Patients
The risk of congestive heart failure in women treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and combination chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer did not increase over time according to a five-year follow-up of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) trial B-31. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.
Based on the findings, the research team developed a prediction model to help oncologists assess the risk of heart failure in individual breast cancer patients prior to treatment with Herceptin and chemotherapy.
"The information we obtained from this study is essential to understanding women's risks for congestive heart failure associated with adding Herceptin to combination chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment," said Priya Rastogi, M.D., assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and assistant director of medical affairs, NSABP. "We're encouraged that we found no increase in heart failure risks long-term and now are able to use this knowledge to individualize women's treatment based on their specific cardiac risk factors."
Intake of Vitamin D and Calcium Associated with Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Before Menopause
Women who consume higher amounts of calcium and vitamin D may have a lower risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer, according to a report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Data from animal studies have linked calcium and vitamin D to breast cancer prevention, according to background information in the article. However, epidemiologic studies on humans have been less conclusive.
Jennifer Lin, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues assessed 10,578 premenopausal and 20,909 postmenopausal women age 45 and older who were part of the Women's Health Study. At the beginning of the study (in 1993 or 1995), the women completed a questionnaire about their medical history and lifestyle, plus a food frequency questionnaire that detailed how often they consumed certain foods, beverages and supplements during the previous year. Every six months during the first year and then every year after that, participants returned follow-up questionnaires indicating whether they had been diagnosed with breast cancer.