Breast cancer therapy and cardiovascular risk: focus on trastuzumab

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Advances in the methods of early diagnosis as well as newer and more effective treatments have led to improvements of disease-free and overall survival over the last decade. Almost one-third of breast cancers present with an aggressive form characterized by increased expression of human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2) proteins. A targeted treatment using monoclonal antibodies against HER2 expression such as trastuzumab has been shown to improve survival. Unfortunately, there is a degree of cardiotoxicity associated with these agents, as inhibition of HER2 pathways can also impair cardioprotective pathways. In the present review, we discuss the mechanisms by which trastuzumab might affect vascular homeostasis leading to endothelial dysfunction. We also provide suggestions for future research examining the effects of trastuzumab on the vasculature in breast cancer.


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Breast Neoplasms, Endothelium, Vascular, Genes, erbB-2, Heart Failure, Homeostasis, Humans, Oxidative Stress, Reactive Oxygen Species, Trastuzumab, Journal Article, Review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-8
Number of pages6
JournalVascular health and risk management
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015
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