Statins for the Primary Prevention of Heart Failure in Patients Receiving Anthracycline Pilot Study

Official Title

Randomized Double Blind Placebo Controlled Trial of Statins for the Primary pREvention of Heart Failure in Patients With Cancer Receiving Anthracycline Based Chemotherapy


Anthracycline (AC) chemotherapy has substantially reduced the mortality rate from several common cancers globally. Unfortunately, AC treatment is associated with up to 19% risk of heart failure (HF). Current standard of care for preventing AC induced HF (AIHF) is cardiac surveillance followed by initiation of treatment once HF is diagnosed. With this approach 89% of patients fail to recover heart function and 46% will experience adverse cardiac events. Therefore there is a need for effective preventive therapy to reduce the risk of AIHF. Based on small human studies, animal studies, and our own pilot data, statins are an ideal class of drug for this purpose. We will conduct a pilot double blinded, placebo controlled, randomized controlled trial to assess whether pre-treatment with statins before AC can prevent heart dysfunction. Eligible patients with cardiovascular risk factors scheduled to receive AC will be recruited. They will be randomized to statin therapy or placebo and followed until the end of cancer treatment. Primary outcome is the difference in cardiac MRI-determined left ventricular ejection fraction between pre-AC and end of treatment.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Cardiac MRI measured LVEF within 4 weeks of anthracycline completion
STUDY DESIGN: This is a double blind, placebo controlled randomized controlled trial (RCT). We will also use stratification to ensure that the proportion of patients with different malignancies is balanced between the study arms. PATIENT RECRUITMENT: Patients will be recruited from respective oncology clinics at Princess Margaret Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Scarborough General Hospital. INTERVENTION: Patients will receive treatment with 40mg/day of atorvastatin or placebo started 2-10 days prior to the initiation of AC and continued for up to one month after completion of the AC portion of cancer treatment. CARDIAC MRI (CMR): Studies will be performed on a 3.0T scanner (Siemens) and will include complete function and tissue characterization. CMR studies will be performed pre-therapy, after completion of AC, and 2 years after completion of AC. After de-identification and randomization, a research assistant blinded to all clinical data will perform all CMR analysis using commercially available software. ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY: Routine echocardiography studies will be performed at baseline, post-anthracycline completion, and at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years follow up. SERUM BIOMARKERS: Blood work will be obtained on the day of baseline imaging, immediately after each cycle of anthracycline, on the day of post treatment imaging, and at the 6 months, 1 year and 2 year follow up. At each time point, optional samples of bio-banking may be collected. Blood sample collection will be done locally at the participant's respective site and transferred to University Health Network (UHN) biobank for future analysis or analysis of markers that are not available at all sites (e.g. high sensitivity troponin I and BNP).

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