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Purpose: Cardiac function assessment is important for detecting and managing trastuzumab-associated cardiotoxicity. Our study estimates rates and predictors of cardiac assessment among patients receiving trastuzumab for HER2-positive early breast cancer (HER2+EBC) in Australia. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of Australians initiating (neo)adjuvant trastuzumab for HER2+EBC between 1 January 2015 and 15 April 2019. We used administrative claims to determine the number of patients receiving guideline-recommended assessment, i.e. evidence of baseline cardiac assessment (between 120 days before and 30 days after trastuzumab initiation) and regular on-treatment cardiac assessments (at least every 120 days). We examined factors associated with baseline and regular on-treatment cardiac assessment. Results: Our study includes 5621 patients (median age 56 years), of whom 4984 (88.7%) had a baseline cardiac function test. Among 4280 patients with at least 12 months of follow-up, 2702 (63.1%) had guideline-recommended cardiac assessment. Rates of guideline-recommended assessment increased with later year of diagnosis (60.9% in 2015 vs 68.3% in 2018, OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.06–1.69). Patients with higher baseline comorbidities and greater socioeconomic disadvantage were less likely to have guideline-recommended cardiac assessment. Cardiac assessment practices varied by State/Territory. There was no association between baseline cardiac risk or anthracycline use and the likelihood of receiving guideline-recommended cardiac assessment. Conclusion: The majority of patients receiving (neo)adjuvant trastuzumab had guideline-recommended baseline and on-treatment cardiac assessment. Variations in cardiac assessment predominantly related to system-level factors, such as year of diagnosis and geography, rather than individual patient factors.

Original publication




Journal article


Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Publication Date





893 - 902