Multicenter, Prospective, Randomized Controlled Trial of High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin I-Guided Combination Angiotensin Receptor Blockade and Beta-Blocker Therapy to Prevent Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity: The Cardiac CARE Trial.
Henriksen PA., Hall P., MacPherson IR., Joshi SS., Singh T., Maclean M., Lewis S., Rodriguez A., Fletcher A., Everett RJ., Stavert H., Broom A., Eddie L., Primrose L., McVicars H., McKay P., Borley A., Rowntree C., Lord S., Collins G., Radford J., Guppy A., Williams MC., Japp A., Payne JR., Newby DE., Mills NL., Oikonomidou O., Lang NN.
BACKGROUND: Anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity has a variable incidence, and the development of left ventricular dysfunction is preceded by elevations in cardiac troponin concentrations. Beta-adrenergic receptor blocker and renin-angiotensin system inhibitor therapies have been associated with modest cardioprotective effects in unselected patients receiving anthracycline chemotherapy. METHODS: In a multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point trial, patients with breast cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma receiving anthracycline chemotherapy underwent serial high-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging before and 6 months after anthracycline treatment. Patients at high risk of cardiotoxicity (cardiac troponin I concentrations in the upper tertile during chemotherapy) were randomized to standard care plus cardioprotection (combination carvedilol and candesartan therapy) or standard care alone. The primary outcome was adjusted change in left ventricular ejection fraction at 6 months. In low-risk nonrandomized patients with cardiac troponin I concentrations in the lower 2 tertiles, we hypothesized the absence of a 6-month change in left ventricular ejection fraction and tested for equivalence of ±2%. RESULTS: Between October 2017 and June 2021, 175 patients (mean age, 53 years; 87% female; 71% with breast cancer) were recruited. Patients randomized to cardioprotection (n=29) or standard care (n=28) had left ventricular ejection fractions of 69.4±7.4% and 69.1±6.1% at baseline and 65.7±6.6% and 64.9±5.9% 6 months after completion of chemotherapy, respectively. After adjustment for age, pretreatment left ventricular ejection fraction, and planned anthracycline dose, the estimated mean difference in 6-month left ventricular ejection fraction between the cardioprotection and standard care groups was -0.37% (95% CI, -3.59% to 2.85%; P=0.82). In low-risk nonrandomized patients, baseline and 6-month left ventricular ejection fractions were 69.3±5.7% and 66.4±6.3%, respectively: estimated mean difference, 2.87% (95% CI, 1.63%-4.10%; P=0.92, not equivalent). CONCLUSIONS: Combination candesartan and carvedilol therapy had no demonstrable cardioprotective effect in patients receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy with high-risk on-treatment cardiac troponin I concentrations. Low-risk nonrandomized patients had similar declines in left ventricular ejection fraction, bringing into question the utility of routine cardiac troponin monitoring. Furthermore, the modest declines in left ventricular ejection fraction suggest that the value and clinical impact of early cardioprotection therapy need to be better defined in patients receiving high-dose anthracycline. REGISTRATION: URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN24439460; Unique identifier, ISRCTN24439460. URL: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/search?query=2017-000896-99; Unique identifier: EudraCT 2017-000896-99.