FRIDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In cancer patients with anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy, early treatment with modern heart failure therapies can restore left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), according to research published in the Jan. 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Daniela Cardinale, M.D., of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, and colleagues write that 5 percent of patients receiving chemotherapy with anthracyclines will eventually develop overt heart failure. The authors analyzed data from 201 patients with anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy and LVEF of 45 percent or less. Subjects were treated with enalapril, with or without carvedilol, for an average of 36 months.
The researchers note that 42 percent were considered responders and 13 percent were partial responders, based on increase in LVEF. Greater length of time between chemotherapy and initiation of heart failure treatment was associated with less likelihood of response.
"In cancer patients treated with anthracycline, the clinical benefit of oncologic treatment may be thwarted by the development of anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy. Our study clearly indicates, however, that a complete LVEF recovery and associated cardiac events reduction may be achieved when cardiac dysfunction is detected early and a treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, possibly in combination with beta-blockers, is promptly initiated," the authors conclude.