History of Exercise Helps Prevent Heart Disease After Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“While regular exercise is recommended as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle for any person, it also appears to help mitigate the increased cardiovascular risk faced by women treated for breast cancer, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session.

“The study found that women with breast who engaged in the equivalent of five hours of moderate exercise per week before their diagnosis were 40 percent less likely to have a cardiovascular event and 60 percent less likely to die from compared to those with a low pre-diagnosis level of exercise. Researchers said this study is the first to examine the long-term impact of exercise before a and the cardiovascular benefits of exercise across all types of cancer treatments.”

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Drugs Prevent Heart Damage During Breast Cancer Treatment, Study Show

Excerpt:

“Heart medication taken in combination with chemotherapy reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular damage in patients with early-stage breast cancer, according to results from a new landmark clinical trial.

“Existing research has shown some cancer therapies such as Herceptin greatly improve survival rates for early-stage breast cancer, but come with a fivefold risk of heart failure—a devastating condition as life-threatening as the cancer itself.

“A new five-year study, led by researchers at the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Cancer Foundation, shows that two kinds of heart medications, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, effectively prevent a drop in heart function from cancer treatment.”

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No Increased Risk of Fatal CV Events for Breast Cancer Patients on Newer Hormone Therapy

Excerpt:

“In a new study from Kaiser Permanente, researchers found the use of aromatase inhibitors, hormone-therapy drugs used to treat patients with breast cancer, was not associated with an increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events, including heart attacks or stroke, compared with tamoxifen, another commonly prescribed anti-cancer drug that works on hormones and which has been associated with a serious risk of stroke.

“While women taking aromatose inhibitors did not have an increased risk of death from heart attacks or stroke, the study, published today in JAMA Oncology, found that those who only used aromatase inhibitors or used the drugs after tamoxifen treatment had a 26 to 29 percent higher risk of less serious cardiovascular events, such as abnormal heart beat and pericarditis (a swelling and irritation of the thin membrane surrounding the heart), compared with those who only used tamoxifen.”

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Drugs Prevent Heart Damage during Breast Cancer Treatment, Study Shows

“Heart medication taken in combination with chemotherapy reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular damage in patients with early-stage breast cancer, according to results from a new landmark clinical trial.

“Existing research has shown some cancer therapies such as Herceptin greatly improve survival rates for , but come with a fivefold risk of heart failure—a devastating condition as life-threatening as the cancer itself.

“A new five-year study, led by researchers at the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Cancer Foundation, shows that two kinds of heart medications, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, effectively prevent a drop in heart function from cancer treatment.”


Hormonal Drugs for Prostate Cancer Increase Risk, Incidence of Cardiovascular Events

“Patients who received hormonal regimens for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer experienced a significant increase in incidence of and relative risk for cardiovascular toxicity, according to results of a meta-analysis.

“Roberto Iacovelli, MD, medical oncologist in the division of urogenital and head and neck tumors at European Institute of Oncology in Milan, and colleagues sought to define the incidence and RR of cardiovascular events in a population of patients treated with new hormonal therapies for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

“Incidence of all-grade toxicities (grades 1-4) and high-grade toxicities (grade 3-4) served as the primary outcome of the study.

“Iacovelli and colleagues identified six prospective phase 2 or phase 3 studies that included a total of 7,830 patients. Within each study, researchers considered treatment with a novel hormonal agent plus prednisone in the experimental arm (n = 4,520) and placebo plus prednisone (n = 3,310) as the control.”


Prostate Cancer Medications Linked with Increased Risk of Heart-Related Deaths in Men with Cardiovascular Problems

“A new study has found that certain prostate cancer medications are linked with an increased risk of dying from heart-related causes in men with congestive heart failure or prior heart attacks. Published in BJU International, the findings will help doctors and patients weigh the benefits and risks of the drugs.

“Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which reduces levels of male hormones in the body to prevent them from stimulating cancer cells, is a mainstay of treatment for prostate cancer. Despite its anticancer effects, ADT has been associated with heart problems, including increased risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and sudden cardiac death. To investigate this potential link thoroughly, Paul Nguyen, MD, of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston, along with David Ziehr of Harvard Medical School and their colleagues, analyzed information on 5,077 men with prostate cancer who were treated between 1997 and 2006. Thirty percent of these men received ADT, while the others did not.

“After a median follow-up of 4.8 years, no association was detected between ADT and heart-related deaths in men with no cardiac risk factors (1.08 percent at five years for ADT versus 1.27 percent at five years for no ADT) or in men with diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol (2.09 percent vs 1.97 percent). However, ADT was associated with a 3.3-times increased risk of heart-related deaths, in men with congestive heart failure or prior heart attacks. In this subgroup, heart-related deaths occurred in 7.01 percent of men receiving ADT versus 2.01 percent of men not receiving after five years. This suggests that administering the therapy to 20 men in this potentially vulnerable subgroup could result in one cardiac death.

” ‘While androgen deprivation therapy can be a lifesaving drug for men with prostate cancer and significantly increase the cure rates when used with radiation for aggressive disease, this study also raises the possibility that a small subgroup of men who have significant heart disease could experience increased cardiac death on ADT,’ said Dr. Nguyen. He noted that because the study was retrospective, it must be carefully weighed against larger controlled trials that have demonstrated the benefits of ADT. ‘I would still say that for men with significant heart problems, we should try to avoid ADT when it is not necessary—such as for men with low-risk disease or men receiving ADT only to shrink the prostate prior to radiation. However, for men with high-risk disease, in whom the prostate-cancer benefits of ADT likely outweigh any potential cardiac harms, ADT should be given even if they have heart problems, but the patient should be followed closely by a cardiologist to ensure that he is being carefully watched and optimized from a cardiac perspective.’ “


Dutch Study Finds No Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality in 5-Year Survivors of DCIS

“In a Dutch study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Boekel et al found no increase in risk of cardiovascular mortality among 5-year survivors of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) compared with the general population. Among DCIS patients, risk of cardiovascular events did not differ according to surgery vs radiotherapy or according to left- vs right-sided radiotherapy…

“The study included data on all DCIS patients in the Netherlands between 1989 and 2004 diagnosed at age < 75 years (N = 10,444). Cardiovascular disease data were obtained through linkage with population-based registries. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated by comparing mortality vs that in the Dutch female population, adjusting for person-years of observation.

“In total, 54% of patients had left-sided DCIS, 28% received radiotherapy, and 2% had a history of cardiovascular disease prior to DCIS diagnosis. Median follow-up was 10 years among all patients and 8 years among those receiving radiotherapy.

“In total, 950 patients (9%) experienced a cardiovascular event, with 814 admitted to the hospital, 255 undergoing a cardiovascular intervention, and 282 dying from cardiovascular disease.”


Hormones After Breast Cancer: Not Fuel for the Fire After All?

Editor’s note: This study used mice in a lab to explore the question of whether hormone therapy can improve survival and quality of life for postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer. The results were promising, but more research needs to be done.

“A new study supports a growing body of research suggesting a safe and effective role for natural steroid hormones in treating postmenopausal breast cancer, with fewer detrimental side effects and improved health profile than with standard anti-hormone therapies. The study will be published in final format today in the open-access journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.

“Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. Approximately 70% of breast cancers are diagnosed in postmenopausal women. Major clinical trials and experimental studies showed that a class of anti-estrogen drugs called aromatase inhibitors (AIs) is effective against postmenopausal . Yet despite their effectiveness in reducing tumor recurrence, aromatase inhibitors have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increase osteoporosis and bone fractures, which may explain their lack of overall survival improvement versus the older treatment, tamoxifen. These effects, together with undesirable side effects such as incontinence and bone and joint pain, cause many women to discontinue using AIs. Alternatives are needed.

“In their study, researchers at the Center of Excellence in Cancer Research at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, set out to explore a radical and counterintuitive hypothesis: Could an optimal choice of hormones lead to improved survival factors and quality of life, enough to outweigh any negative effect on tumor recurrence? Radical—because current standard of practice considers hormone treatment of any type absolutely contraindicated following hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Counterintuitive— because estrogen-blocking aromatase inhibitors, a nearly opposite treatment, are the current adjuvant treatment for women after hormone-sensitive breast cancer.

“Results from this study in a mouse model suggest the answer to their question is ‘yes,’—well-chosen hormones could improve both survival and quality of life.”