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  • Posted: 11/15/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

Yale study finds heart failure in older breast cancer patients linked to medication

Heart failure is a relatively common complication in older women with breast cancer, but the risk is even higher in those patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin©), Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The researchers conducted this study because older women who are at higher risk of decreased heart function were often excluded from randomized clinical trials of trastuzumab, which is used to treat breast tumors that over-express human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). Past clinical trials in younger, healthier women showed improved survival, but also increased heart complications linked to trastuzumab, especially when combined with a frequently used therapy called anthracycline chemotherapy. The Yale School of Medicine is home to the Yale Cancer Center.

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