Adriamycin-induced heart failure: mechanism and modulation

Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 Apr;207(1-2):77-86. doi: 10.1023/a:1007094214460.


Adriamycin (doxorubicin) is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents against a variety of cancers, but its usefulness is seriously curtailed by the risk of developing heart failure. Available laboratory evidence suggests that an increase in oxidative stress, brought about by increased free radical production and decreased myocardial endogenous antioxidants, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Adriamycin-induced apoptosis and hyperlipidemia may also be involved in the process. Probucol, a lipid-lowering drug and an antioxidant, completely prevents the occurrence of heart failure by reducing oxidative stress as well as by the modulation of apoptosis and high lipid concentrations. Thus, combined therapy with adriamycin and probucol has a high potential for optimizing the treatment of cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects*
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart Failure / chemically induced*
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Probucol / therapeutic use


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Doxorubicin
  • Probucol