Protective effects of salidroside on epirubicin-induced early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction in patients with breast cancer

Drugs R D. 2012 Jun 1;12(2):101-6. doi: 10.2165/11632530-000000000-00000.


Background: Salidroside [2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside], one of the most potent ingredients extracted from the plant Rhodiola rosea L., has been shown to have a cardiovascular protective effect as an antioxidant, and early treatment of epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity has been the focus of clinical chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. However, the cardioprotective effects of salidroside on epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, especially early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction, have to date been sparsely investigated.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of salidroside in preventing early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction induced by epirubicin.

Methods: Sixty patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer were enrolled. Eligible patients were randomized to receive salidroside (600 mg/day; n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) starting 1 week before chemotherapy. Patients were investigated by means of echocardiography and strain rate (SR) imaging. We also measured plasma concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). All parameters were assessed at baseline and 7 days after each new epirubicin dose of 100 mg/m2.

Results: A decline of the SR peak was observed at an epirubicin dose of 200 mg/m2, with no significant differences between salidroside and placebo (1.35 ± 0.36 vs 1.42 ± 0.49/second). At growing cumulative doses of epirubicin, the SR normalized only with salidroside, showing a significant difference in comparison with placebo at epirubicin doses of 300 mg/m2 (1.67 ± 0.43 vs 1.32 ± 0.53/second, p < 0.05) and 400 mg/m2 (1.68 ± 0.29 vs 1.40 ± 0.23/second, p < 0.05). Moreover, a significant increase in plasma concentrations of ROS was found with placebo, but they remained unchanged with salidroside.

Conclusion: Salidroside can provide a protective effect on epirubicin-induced early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction in patients with breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / adverse effects*
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Echocardiography
  • Epirubicin / administration & dosage
  • Epirubicin / adverse effects*
  • Epirubicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Glucosides / isolation & purification
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / isolation & purification
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Rhodiola / chemistry
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / chemically induced
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / prevention & control*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antioxidants
  • Glucosides
  • Phenols
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Epirubicin
  • rhodioloside