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Palbociclib in combination with simvastatin induce severe rhabdomyolysis: a case report

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BACKGROUND: Palbociclib is a selective well-tolerated antineoplastic drug used in the treatment of advanced HER2-negative, estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer that has shown significant improvement in progression-free survival. We present a patient that developed severe rhabdomyolysis with tetra-affection and loss of gait after initiating the first cycle of Palbociclib concomitantly with Simvastatin 40 mg treatment.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 71-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer developed tetraparesis and near fatal rhabdomyolysis after initiation of first cycle Palbociclib. For 10 years prior to this treatment, the patient had been treated with Simvastatin without myalgia or other neuromuscular complaints prior to the first cycle of Palbociclib. The patient was admitted at the neurology department, where Palbociclib and Simvastatin were discontinued. The patient was aggressively hydrated and treated with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy with slowly remission and finally regaining independent gait function. Evaluation showed a negative myositis antibody work-up. Muscle magnetic resonance imaging showed edema in multiple foci, but skeletal muscle biopsy did not show necrosis. Post discharge genetic analysis showed single heterozygosity for nucleotide polymorphism rs4149056.

CONCLUSION: We present a patient who developed severe rhabdomyolysis induced by a combination of Palbociclib and Simvastatin treatment. Rhabdomyolysis was most likely induced by toxic plasma concentrations of Simvastatin due to Palbociclibs inhibition of the CYP3A4 enzyme in combination with a decreased hepatic uptake of Simvastatin due to single nucleotide polymorphism rs4149056. The study underscores that combining Simvastatin and Palbociclib should be done cautiously and genetic testing of the rs4149056 SNP is warranted. If present, Simvastatin should be discontinued or replaced with a lesser myopathic statin in regard to patients risk of cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Neurology
Volume19
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)247
ISSN1471-2377
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019

ID: 58279163