Trastuzumab cardiac toxicity: a problem we put our heart into


Trastuzumab has gained a central role in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer, revolutionizing care in this setting. However, since the beginning of its use there have been concerns about its cardiac safety. Trastuzumab can give rise to cardiac toxicity, in some cases leading to discontinuation of treatment. Growing evidence shows that trastuzumab toxicity can be detected early or averted by means of new chemotherapy regimens using different anthracycline formulations or avoiding anthracyclines altogether. Moreover, patients in whom cardiac toxicity develops can be treated effectively and full cardiac function can be restored thanks to progress in drug management. Knowing the characteristics and proper management of trastuzumab toxicity is of paramount importance to grant patients in this setting the best available treatment.

Tumori 2016; 102(1): 1 - 5

Article Type: REVIEW



Giacomo Bregni, Giulia Galli, Arpine Gevorgyan, Filippo de Braud, Serena Di Cosimo

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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  • Medical Oncology Unit 1, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Genoa - Italy
  • Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy

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