Clinical Drug Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 131–137 | Cite as

Use of N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide to Assess Left Ventricular Function after Adjuvant Doxorubicin Therapy in Early Breast Cancer Patients

A Prospective Series
  • Timucin Cil
  • Ali M. Kaplan
  • Abdullah Altintas
  • Ata M. Akin
  • Sait Alan
  • Abdurrahman Isikdogan
Original Research Article


Background and objective: Anthracyclines are well established and highly efficacious antineoplastic agents for various haematopoietic and solid tumours, such as breast cancer. The main adverse effect of anthracycline therapy is cardiotoxicity. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the role of plasma levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in assessing left ventricular function in early breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant anthracycline treatment.

Methods: Thirty-three newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who received a total doxorubicin dosage of 240 mg/m2 over four treatment cycles as part of adjuvant chemotherapy after curative breast surgery were included in this study. Venous NT-proBNP levels were measured before and at the end of doxorubicin therapy. Left ventricular function was measured by echocardiography conducted 3 weeks after surgery and at the end of doxorubicin therapy.

Results: NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in patients (n = 10) with decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) [p = 0.02]. There was no difference in LVEF (p = 0.164) or NT-proBNP levels (p = 0.844) between the patients who had high NT-proBNP levels and those who had normal NT-proBNP levels before doxorubicin chemotherapy. None of the factors studied (breast cancer grade, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status, age) was found to be significantly related to NT-proBNP.

Conclusion: The association between higher NT-proBNP levels and reduced LVEF in asymptomatic breast cancer patients after doxorubicin administration could be an early indication of subclinical acute anthracycline cardiotoxicity. Furthermore, breast cancer patients experiencing a progressive increase in NT-proBNP levels might be in a higher risk group for acute anthracycline cardiotoxicity.


Leave Ventricular Ejection Fraction Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Brain Natriuretic Peptide Early Breast Cancer Patient Radionuclide Angiocardiography 
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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this study. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timucin Cil
    • 1
  • Ali M. Kaplan
    • 2
  • Abdullah Altintas
    • 3
  • Ata M. Akin
    • 4
  • Sait Alan
    • 4
  • Abdurrahman Isikdogan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of MedicineDicle UniversityDiyarbakirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of MedicineDicle UniversityDiyarbakirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Haematology, Faculty of MedicineDicle UniversityDiyarbakirTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Cardiology, Faculty of MedicineDicle UniversityDiyarbakirTurkey

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