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Breast cancer therapy and cardiovascular risk: focus on trastuzumab

Authors Sandoo A, Kitas G, Carmichael A

Received 6 February 2015

Accepted for publication 3 March 2015

Published 7 April 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 223—228


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Daniel A. Duprez

Video abstract presented by Aamer Sandoo.

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Aamer Sandoo,1,2 George D Kitas,2 Amtul R Carmichael2

1School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, 2Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, UK

Abstract: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Advances in the methods of early diagnosis as well as newer and more effective treatments have led to improvements of disease-free and overall survival over the last decade. Almost one-third of breast cancers present with an aggressive form characterized by increased expression of human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2) proteins. A targeted treatment using monoclonal antibodies against HER2 expression such as trastuzumab has been shown to improve survival. Unfortunately, there is a degree of cardiotoxicity associated with these agents, as inhibition of HER2 pathways can also impair cardioprotective pathways. In the present review, we discuss the mechanisms by which trastuzumab might affect vascular homeostasis leading to endothelial dysfunction. We also provide suggestions for future research examining the effects of trastuzumab on the vasculature in breast cancer.

Keywords: endothelial dysfunction, microvasculature, macrovasculature, congestive heart failure

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