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Toxic cardiomyopathy leading to fatal acute cardiac failure related to vandetanib: a case report with histopathological analysis

Toxic cardiomyopathy leading to fatal acute cardiac failure related to vandetanib: a case report with histopathological analysis

European Journal of Endocrinology 168(6): K51

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) accounts for 3-4% of all malignant thyroid neoplasias. Vandetanib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, epidermal growth factor receptor, and RET, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic MTC. The heart seems to be particularly susceptible to adverse effects associated with TKI therapy, and virtually all TKIs have been associated with cardiovascular events. We report the case of a patient with metastatic MTC who was enrolled in the Phase III clinical study (NCT00410761) and presented a favorable response to vandetanib therapy, displaying marked decrease in the level of serologic tumor markers and shrinkage of metastatic lesions. After 14 months of therapy, the patient developed a fatal cardiac failure. Myocardial infarction was excluded by serial measurements of specific cardiac markers (serial troponin-T measurements varied from 0.037 to 0.042 ng/ml) and serologic tests for Chaga's disease were negative. Postmortem examination of the heart revealed cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and marked myocyte degeneration in the subendocardial zones and papillary muscles of the myocardium. These pathological changes are similar to those observed in TKI-treated rats and are suggestive of drug-induced cardiotoxicity. This case illustrates a previously unreported serious vandetanib-related adverse effect and highlights the need for close monitoring of patients under TKI therapy in order to identify early signs of congestive heart failure or myocardium damage.

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Accession: 036876730

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23487538

DOI: 10.1530/eje-13-0015

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