Mitoxantrone was developed in the hope of providing effective cancer treatment without side-effects on the heart. Animal researchers were presumably reassured when tests on beagle dogs "failed to demonstrate cardiac failure."(1) But in clinical trials several patients suffered side-effects including heart failure, and more widespread use of the drug confirmed that cardiac toxicity is a major problem. For instance, data from 3,360 patients receiving mitoxantrone included 88 reports of cardiac side effects with 29 cases of heart failure.(2) And a recent Chinese study suggested that 20% of patients developed cardiotoxicity following treatment with mitoxantrone.(3)
1) R.Stuart Harris et al, Lancet, 1984, July 28, 219-220.
2) Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 29th edition, Ed. J.E.F.Reynolds (Pharmceutical Press,1989).
3) A.Stanley & G.Blackledge in Side Effects of Drugs, Annual 15, Eds. M.N.G.Dukes & J.K.Aronson (Eisevier,1991).
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