AbstractThe use of the adjuvant therapeutic antibody trastuzumab in breast cancer is associated with a range of cardiotoxic side effects despite successfully reducing the severity of outcomes cancer patients,. The most common cardiac effect, a reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), is a known precursor to heart failure and often requires interruption of chemotherapy to avoid endangering patients further. An understanding of trastuzumab’s cardiac-specific interactions is therefore critical in devising new methods to not only avoid permanent cardiac damage, but also prolong treatment time, and therefore effectiveness, for breast cancer patients. Increasingly, the use of exercise as a treatment has been indicated across the field of cardio-oncology due to encouraging evidence that it can protect against LVEF reductions and heart failure. This review explores the mechanisms of trastuzumab-mediated cardiotoxicity, as well as the physiological effects of exercise on the heart, in order to assess the suitability of exercise intervention for breast cancer patients on trastuzumab antibody-therapy. We furthermore draw comparison to existing evidence for exercise intervention as a cardioprotective treatment in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Although preclinical evidence seems to support exercise-based approaches also in trastuzumab-cardiotoxicity, current clinical evidence is too limited to confidently recommend it as a treatment, largely owing to issues of adherence. Future studies should therefore examine how the variety and duration of exercise can be adjusted to improve treatment effectiveness at a more personalised level.
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