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Platycodon Grandiflorum Protects Against Anthracycline-Induced Cardiotoxicity In Early Breast Cancer Patients

Wei Hao, Youyang Shi, Yuenong Qin, Chenping Sun, Liying Chen, Chunyu Wu, Yijia Bao, Sheng Liu

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Background: Anthracycline-based chemotherapy is an effective treatment used for early-stage breast cancer patients. However, anthracycline use is limited due to its cardiotoxic effects. Recent studies have shown that Platycodon grandiflorum (PG) protects the heart from anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. However, no randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial has been performed to investigate the clinical use of PG to prevent anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. This study aimed to evaluate the cardioprotective effects and safety of PG in early breast cancer patients receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Methods: A total of 125 early breast cancer patients receiving anthracycline-based chemotherapy were enrolled and randomized into a PG group or placebo group in a 1:1 ratio. Results: Only 2 (3.1%) participants in the placebo group and 1 (1.6%) participant in the PG group experienced NYHA (New York Heart Association) class III or IV heart failure. There were no significant differences observed between the 2 groups. However, compared with the placebo group, patients in the PG group showed a lower incidence of subclinical heart failure (21.9% vs 8.2%, respectively, P = .033), as well as lower cardiac troponin T levels (48.4% vs 31.1%, respectively, P = .002). Importantly, there were no differences observed in the antitumor effects of anthracycline between the 2 groups (disease-free survival: hazards ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval = 0.45-2.62, P = .84; overall survival: hazards ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval = 0.33-6.43, P = .62). Conclusion: PG prevents anthracycline-induced acute and chronic cardiac injury in early-stage breast cancer patients without compromising the antitumor effects of chemotherapy.