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Posted by on Oct 20, 2019 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The study aimed to identify cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) adverse drug reactions (CV-ADR) associated with ibrutinib treatment. This study concluded that severe and sometimes fatal cardiac events occur in patients exposed to ibrutinib

Some background

Ibrutinib (Imbruvica) is a targeted therapy that can be used for the treatment of B-cell malignancies such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A recent trial where ibrutinib was used as a front-line therapy showed increased death during treatment compared to standard chemotherapy. It was suspected that cardiovascular toxicities were the cause but were not assessed in the study. Cardiovascular toxicity is damage to the heart by chemicals. Cancer patients are normally treated with toxins (drugs) to kill cancer cells. A side effect of these treatments is that the normal cells in and near the heart can also be killed.  

It is important to research the possible cardiovascular toxicities associated with ibrutinib treatment for a better prevention and treatment.   

Methods & findings

This study analyzed results from other studies to determine if CV-ADR and CV-ADR deaths were associated with ibrutinib treatment. 303 ibrutinib-associated cardiovascular deaths were identified.  

Ibrutinib was associated with higher reporting of supraventricular arrhythmias (SVAs – abnormally fast heart rhythm), brain hemorrhagic events (bleed within the brain) and heart failure. Ibrutinib was also associated with higher reporting of ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat), heart conduction disorders, brain ischemic events (blockages in the blood supply to the brain) and high blood pressure.  

CV-ADR often occurred early after ibrutinib administration. CV-ADRs were associated with fatalities ranging from SVAs and ventricular arrhythmias to brain events, heart failure, and conduction disorders.

Ibrutinib-associated SVA indicated a poor prognosis when brain events occurred at the same time, with 28.8% deaths. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that severe and sometimes fatal cardiac events can occur in patients exposed to ibrutinib

The fine print

This article was based on information in a side effects database reported by physicians in over 130 countries. Some events may have not been reported. Further studies are needed to determine ways to prevent heart-related side effects during ibrutinib treatment.

What’s next?

If you have concerns regarding ibrutinib treatment, please consult with your physician.

Published By :

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Date :

Oct 01, 2019

Original Title :

Cardiovascular Toxicities Associated With Ibrutinib.

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