Pre-operative cardiac workup after anthracycline-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Is it really necessary?

Ron Shapiro, Daphna Barsuk, Lior Segev, Shani Shimon-Paluch, Haim Berkenstadt, Douglas B. Zippel, Moshe Z. Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: In patients receiving pre-operative anthracyclines for locally advanced breast cancer, early cardiotoxicity is a well-recognised complication that may interfere with surgery. The aim of this study was to assess the safety of breast surgery after neoadjuvant treatment with Doxorubicin. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of breast cancer patients treated with Doxorubicin as part of their neoadjuvant protocol. All patients were subsequently operated in our institution. Intra-operative and postoperative haemodynamic, cardiac or respiratory events were collected. RESULTS: A total of 83 patients were included. All patients had a normal left ventricular ejection fraction before starting on chemotherapy. Doxorubicin was given in conjunction with Cyclophosphamide and Paclitaxel. The cumulative dose of Doxorubicin was 240 mg/m 2. All patients completed their chemotherapy less than a year before surgery and were clinically asymptomatic. Of the patients, 2.3% displayed a significant reduction in cardiac function to meet cardiotoxicity criteria, although not clinically apparent. No complications occurred intra-operatively or postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS: Breast surgery can be safely performed after breast neoadjuvant chemotherapy with Doxorubicin. The risk of early cardiotoxicity does not mandate a cardiac function assessment after completion of treatment. Work-up should be individualised according to the anthracycline regimen, patient's cardiac risk factors and functional status before surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-129
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast surgery
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy


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