BRCA1/2 Mutations and Cardiovascular Function in Breast Cancer Survivors

Biniyam G. Demissei, Wen Jian Lv, Nicholas S. Wilcox, Karyn Sheline, Amanda M. Smith, Kathleen M. Sturgeon, Chris McDermott-Roe, Kiran Musunuru, Bénédicte Lefebvre, Susan M. Domchek, Payal Shah, Bonnie Ky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Animal models suggest that BRCA1/2 mutations increase doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity risk but data in humans are limited. We aimed to determine whether germline BRCA1/2 mutations are associated with cardiac dysfunction in breast cancer survivors. Methods: In a single-center cross-sectional study, stage I-III breast cancer survivors were enrolled according to three groups: (1) BRCA1/2 mutation carriers treated with doxorubicin; (2) BRCA1/2 mutation non-carriers treated with doxorubicin; and (3) BRCA1/2 mutation carriers treated with non-doxorubicin cancer therapy. In age-adjusted analysis, core-lab quantitated measures of echocardiography-derived cardiac function and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) were compared across the groups. A complementary in vitro study was performed to assess the impact of BRCA1 loss of function on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) survival following doxorubicin exposure. Results: Sixty-seven women with mean (standard deviation) age of 50 (11) years were included. Age-adjusted left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was lower in participants receiving doxorubicin regardless of BRCA1/2 mutation status (p = 0.03). In doxorubicin-treated BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and non-carriers, LVEF was lower by 5.4% (95% CI; −9.3, −1.5) and 4.8% (95% CI; −9.1, −0.5), respectively compared to carriers without doxorubicin exposure. No significant differences in VO2max were observed across the three groups (poverall = 0.07). Doxorubicin caused a dose-dependent reduction in viability of iPSC-CMs in vitro without differences between BRCA1 mutant and wild type controls (p > 0.05). Conclusions: BRCA1/2 mutation status was not associated with differences in measures of cardiovascular function or fitness. Our findings do not support a role for increased cardiotoxicity risk with BRCA1/2 mutations in women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number833171
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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