Dr. Durand on Anthracyclines in Treatments for HER2+ Breast Cancer

Jean-Bernard Durand, MD

Jean-Bernard Durand, MD, professor in the Department of Cardiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses protecting patients’ hearts from anthracyclines and HER2-targeted therapies when treating for HER2-positive breast cancer.

It is important to continue HER2/neu therapy with minimal to zero toxicities, says Durand. There has not been a lot of clinical data on strategies to prevent toxicities from occurring. Physicians have learned that routine heart failure therapies, such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, may have some protective role that could allow a patient to complete therapy without cardiovascular adverse events, says Durand.

It is important to give a continuous infusion of doxorubicin, rather than giving a bolus infusion, in the amount of time that a patient is free of treatment. According to Durand, when anthracycline-based therapies are followed by HER2/neu therapies within 30 days, the incidence of injury to the heart is much higher than waiting 60 to 90 days.
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