Pharmacogenomic prediction of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity

Anthracyclines are a class of drugs used world-wide for the treatment of most cancers. However, their clinical utility is limited by a high risk of cardiac toxicity and congestive heart failure.

Dr. Aminkeng aims to identify genetic markers that can predict anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity and congestive heart failure using a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The goal is to develop a clinical test that will allow for better identification of risk factors and improved treatment and monitoring that will increase the safety of anthracycline therapy.

Study participants have been recruited via the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety. Patients will be genotyped using the GWAS Illumina Infinium assay. In vitro, in vivo, and pharmacokinetic studies and pharmacodynamics modelling will be used to study the functional relevance of identified genes.

A highly predictive test for anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity and congestive heart failure would significantly benefit patients, families and physicians by improving counselling and treatment options. For example, a patient at high risk could receive more aggressive echocardiogram monitoring for toxicity, receive a cardio-protective drug such as dexrasoxane, or be treated with an alternative chemotherapy protocol.