Epirubicin cardiotoxicity: A study comparing low- with high-dose-intensity weekly schedules

G. J. Berchem, F. Ries*, J. Hanfelt, C. Duhem, M. Keipes, C. Delagardelle, M. Dicato

*Corresponding author for this work

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Epirubicin is one of the less cardiotoxic alternatives to doxorubicin. We were interested in studying the cardiotoxic effect of the total cumulative dose, and weekly schedules of low compared to high dose intensity. Fifty-seven patients were treated with different epirubicin-containing regimens. We confirm the classical notion that total cumulative doses of less than 600 mg/m2 do not induce significant cardiotoxicity, whereas doses above 600 mg/m2 are associated with a trend towards cardiotoxicity. Patients receiving a high weekly dose intensity (> 40 mg/m2), however, did have a significantly lower incidence of cardiotoxicity than those receiving a low dose intensity per week (< 40 mg/m2) (22.8% versus 50%; P < 0.05). We identified the association of a dose intensity of more than 40 mg m-2/ week-1 and a cumulative dose of 400-899 mg/m2 or a dose intensity of less that 40 mg m-2/week-1 and a cumulative dose of less than 400 mg/m2 to have the lowest incidence rate of cardiotoxicity. We conclude from this study that epirubicin in weekly schedules of high dose intensity is not more cardiotoxic than in weekly schedules of low dose intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-312
Number of pages5
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthracyclines
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Epirubicin


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