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Plitidepsin Has a Safe Cardiac Profile: A Comprehensive Analysis

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      Plitidepsin is a cyclic depsipeptide of marine origin in clinical development in cancer patients. Previously, some depsipeptides have been linked to increased cardiac toxicity. Clinical databases were searched for cardiac adverse events (CAEs) that occurred in clinical trials with the single-agent plitidepsin. Demographic, clinical and pharmacological variables were explored by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Forty-six of 578 treated patients (8.0%) had at least one CAE (11 patients (1.9%) with plitidepsin-related CAEs), none with fatal outcome as a direct consequence. The more frequent CAEs were rhythm abnormalities (n = 31; 5.4%), mostly atrial fibrillation/flutter (n = 15; 2.6%). Of note, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias did not occur. Myocardial injury events (n = 17; 3.0%) included possible ischemic-related and non-ischemic events. Other events (miscellaneous, n = 6; 1.0%) were not related to plitidepsin. Significant associations were found with prostate or pancreas cancer primary diagnosis (p = 0.0017), known baseline cardiac risk factors (p = 0.0072), myalgia present at baseline (p = 0.0140), hemoglobin levels lower than 10 g/dL (p = 0.0208) and grade ≥2 hypokalemia (p = 0.0095). Treatment-related variables (plitidepsin dose, number of cycles, schedule and/or total cumulative dose) were not associated. Electrocardiograms performed before and after plitidepsin administration (n = 136) detected no relevant effect on QTc interval. None of the pharmacokinetic parameters analyzed had a significant impact on the probability of developing a CAE. In conclusion, the most frequent CAE type was atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, although its frequency was not different to that reported in the age-matched healthy population, while other CAEs types were rare. No dose-cumulative pattern was observed, and no treatment-related variables were associated with CAEs. Relevant risk factors identified were related to the patient’s condition and/or to disease-related characteristics rather than to drug exposure. Therefore, the current analysis supports a safe cardiac risk profile for single-agent plitidepsin in cancer patients.

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      Cardiac dysfunction in the trastuzumab clinical trials experience.

      This study sought to estimate cardiac dysfunction (CD) risk for patients receiving trastuzumab; to characterize observed CD by severity, treatment, and clinical outcome; to assess effects of baseline clinical risk factors on CD; and to assess effects of cumulative doses of anthracyclines and trastuzumab on CD. A retrospective review of records for patients enrolled onto any of seven phase II and III trastuzumab clinical trials was performed. Predefined criteria were used for the diagnosis, and the New York Heart Association functional classification system was used to document CD severity. Product-limit estimates were used to summarize the cumulative anthracycline and trastuzumab doses at the time of CD onset. Patients treated with trastuzumab were found to be at an increased risk for CD. The incidence was greatest in patients receiving concomitant trastuzumab and anthracycline plus cyclophosphamide (27%). The risk was substantially lower in patients receiving paclitaxel and trastuzumab (13%) or trastuzumab alone (3% to 7%); however, most of these patients had received prior anthracycline therapy. CD was noted in 8% of patients receiving anthracycline plus cyclophosphamide and 1% receiving paclitaxel alone. Most trastuzumab-treated patients developing CD were symptomatic (75%), and most improved with standard treatment for congestive heart failure (79%). Trastuzumab is associated with an increased risk of CD, which is greatest in patients receiving concurrent anthracyclines. In most patients with metastatic breast cancer, the risk of CD can be justified given the improvement in overall survival previously reported with trastuzumab.
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        American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical evidence review on the ongoing care of adult cancer survivors: cardiac and pulmonary late effects.

        To review the evidence on the incidence of long-term cardiac or pulmonary toxicity secondary to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or trastuzumab in symptomatic and asymptomatic cancer survivors. An American Society of Clinical Oncology Panel reviewed pertinent information from the literature through February 2006. Few studies directly addressing the benefits of screening for long-term cardiac or pulmonary toxicity in asymptomatic cancer survivors who received chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or trastuzumab were identified. The reviewed literature included primarily retrospective and cross-sectional studies describing the incidence of cardiac and pulmonary late effects. Anatomic and/or functional abnormalities have been associated with use of all currently available anthracyclines and their derivatives. Trastuzumab-related cardiac dysfunction rarely causes death, and in most cases is reversible with improvement in cardiac function on drug discontinuation and/or treatment with cardiac medications. The estimated aggregate incidence of radiation-induced cardiac disease is 10% to 30% by 5 to 10 years post-treatment, although the incidence may be lower with modern techniques. Radiation pneumonitis is reported in 5% to 15% of lung cancer patients receiving definitive external-beam radiation therapy. A minority of patients may develop progressive pulmonary fibrosis; late complications include cor pulmonale and respiratory failure. Bleomycin-induced pneumonitis is an acute rather than late effect of treatment. Late pulmonary complications in bone marrow or stem cell transplantation patients who develop interstitial pneumonitis include idiopathic pneumonia syndrome and bronchiolitis obliterans. An increased incidence of cardiac and/or pulmonary dysfunction is observed in cancer survivors. Research is needed to identify high-risk patients, and to determine the optimal screening strategies and subsequent treatment.
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          Type II chemotherapy-related cardiac dysfunction: time to recognize a new entity.


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            Author notes
            [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: valfaro@ ; Tel.: +34-93-4037094; Fax: +34-93-4491079.
            Mar Drugs
            Marine Drugs
            Molecular Diversity Preservation International
            9 June 2011
            : 9
            : 6
            : 1007-1023
            © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

            This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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