Direct oral anticoagulants significantly decrease recurrent venous thrombosis for adult cancer patients

Jan. 20, 2022

Direct oral anticoagulants should be considered the standard of care to treat adult patients with cancer-associated thrombosis, according to a new, ongoing study by Mayo Clinic researchers, which was described in a news release.

Thrombosis is a condition where blood clots form in blood vessels of the legs. These clots can travel to the lungs and become lodged in blood vessels, causing a pulmonary embolism. Thrombotic outcomes increase mortality in cancer patients and are the second most common cause of death after disease progression.

The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, examined the results of four randomized clinical trials involving 2,894 patients. This study found that direct oral anticoagulants significantly decreased cancer-associated venous thrombosis recurrence without significantly increasing bleeding, compared with parenteral dalteparin.

"Our meta-analysis finds that cancer patients who experience acute venous thrombosis events, and were treated with direct oral anticoagulants, experienced a 41% decrease in the rate of thrombosis recurrence compared with dalteparin, without significantly increasing major bleeding," says Irbaz Riaz, MBBS, a Mayo Clinic hematologist and oncologist.

Direct oral anticoagulants have been considered the standard of care to treat venous thrombosis in patients without cancer. "This analysis indicates the same is true for cancer patients," says Robert McBane II, MD, Mayo Clinic Cardiologist and the study's senior author.

The systematic review led by Mayo Clinic, which also involved researchers from five other institutions, did not find differences in mortality based on the use of oral anticoagulants versus dalteparin. The authors recommend caution in using anticoagulants when treating patients at high risk of bleeding.

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