The need for the test I took a bit of a surprise, but given that a type of anthracycline--Adriamycin--was nicknamed "The Red Devil" by some, maybe I shouldn't have been. This liquid, Ruby is often given in conjunction with other medications for the treatment of breast cancer at an early stage. While tough on cancer cells (good), can also be hard for the heart muscle (not good at all).
Anthracycline drugs in this class consist of Streptomyces bacteria. These drugs are powerful, but antibiotics are terrifically too toxic for ordinary infections. Anthracyclines are used to treat several types of cancer than any other class of chemotherapy drugs. Other examples of anthracyclines include Daunorubicin (daunomicina) and epirubicin.
In order to understand more about anthracyclines and MUGA scans, I looked at what the experts say about UpToDate--a trusted electronic reference that is used by many Oncologists who treat patients with breast cancer.
If you are in the same boat as I was a little confused about the powerful drug that you gave and proof that you never thought it would be necessary, read this story and monitors that will help you better get a handle on anthrayclines and your heart.
Evaluation of myocardial function: a discussion on the diagnosis and staging Workup from UpToDate
"many women with early stage breast cancer will be recommended anthracycline containing adjuvant chemotherapy. Anthracyclines as doxorubicin cardiotoxicity associated with limiting the dose, rollup. Although the dose received more adjuvant regimens (240 mg/m2 of doxorubicin) is lower than that which greatly increases the risk of cardiotoxicity (? 450 mg/m2), systematic evaluation of left ventricular function with multiple scans of the gated acquisition (MUGA) is a common practice. Women with LVEFs less than 30-35% should not receivedoxorubicin. "How do Anthracyclines affect my heart?
Anthracyclines are cardiotoxic, which means that they are potentially harmful to the heart muscle. If the heart muscle is damaged by an anthracycline, could be at risk of heart failure, a problem that cannot show up years after the end of your treatment. Because of this potential damage to your heart, there is a limit to how much can be given in General. The doctor must calculate the cumulative dose so that treatment can be stopped before it reaches the maximum.
What exactly is a scanning MUGA and an LVEF?
MUGA scan is a test that takes pictures of your heart as it pumps. It is used for many reasons; for patients who will need chemotherapy, is done to see how well your heart pump blood. The result that produces is called the ejection fraction. In particular, this test allows your doctor to see how much blood your left ventricle pumps whenever your heart beats. This result is known as the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
That should not be treated with Anthracyclines?
If you have a heart condition, you may not be a good candidate for anthracycline chemotherapy. After a scan MUGA, if your score is already low, LVEF your doctor does not want can further damage your heart.
If you have a scan MUGA?
Patients who are candidates for treatment with Herceptin (trastuzumab) may be wondering if they should get a scan MUGA, cardiotoxicity is a potential complication herceptin given and if anthracylines together. However, because of this potential, these drugs are not given in combination. That said, the drugs can be produced sequentially; Although it remains a high rate of cardiotoxicity, good surveillance--through MUGA scans--can reduce problems before they get serious.
If trastuzumab is in your future, we recommend a minimum of one scan MUGA--conducted before starting drug treatment--. More scans MUGA during therapy and for a short period after the treatment is completed also trastuzamab are done routinely.
Note: Some centers rely on an Echocardiogram MUGA scan instead.
want to know more? See topic of UpToDate, "diagnostic assessment and the initial visit to the work of women with suspected breast cancer: evaluation of myocardial function," for more in-depth medical information, current and unbiased on breast cancer, including recommendations of expert physician.
Laura j. Esserman and Bonnie no Joe, "diagnostic assessment and the initial visit to the work of women with suspected breast cancer: evaluation of myocardial function" UpToDate. Access: January 2009.