High fat mass associates with occurrence of targeted therapy-induced left ventricular ejection fraction reduction in patients with renal cell carcinoma

Kazemi-Bajestani SMR, Becher H, Venner P, North S, Baracos V

Clin Nutr 2018 Jun;37(3):1070-1072

PMID: 28392165


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Recent research suggests that variations of skeletal muscle (SM) and fat predict the severity of chemotherapy-induced toxicities in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Cardio-toxicity has not been evaluated in this context.

METHODS: In this study we considered 47 RCC patients who participated in randomized clinical trials of sorafenib or sunitinib (i.e., targeted therapy). To capture cardio-toxicity, multi gated acquisition (MUGA) scan-defined left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) tests (at least 3 tests over 1 year of treatment) were abstracted. Computed tomography (CT) cross-sectional images were analyzed before start of targeted therapy and at 1 year to define SM and fat at baseline and changes over time concurrent with MUGA-defined LVEF measurement.

RESULTS: MUGA-defined cardio-toxicity (usually fall in LVEF >10% to an absolute LVEF<55%) occurred in 8/47 (17%) patients over 1 year of targeted therapy (all were male). Percentage of patients with high fat mass (baseline CT-defined total adipose tissue/indexed by height greater than the gender-specific median value) was higher among patients with cardio-toxicity versus patients without cardio-toxicity [7 (87.5%) versus 16 (41.0%); p = 0.02]. The percentage of SM loss in patients with cardio-toxicity was higher than the patients without cardio-toxicity [median of loss (%) -7 versus 0 respectively; p = 0.04].

CONCLUSION: Cardio-toxicity in RCC patients might be associated with high fat mass. This finding is distinct from prior observations that low body weight and sarcopenia associated with non-cardiac toxicities of targeted therapies. Concurrence of SM loss over time and development of cardio-toxicity is reported for the first time.