Effect of low-molecular-weight heparin on survival in patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Thromb Haemost. 2007 Aug;98(2):434-9.


This retrospective analysis aimed to identify whether low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) might improve survival in patients receiving chemotherapeutic treatment for advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Two hundred forty-three patients who had received chemotherapy for advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Of these, 30 patients had to be excluded from analysis due to insufficient documentation. Of the remaining 213 patients 94 patients had been treated with LMWH, whereas 119 patients served as controls. Outcome was assessed in relation to overall survival, which was calculated from the date of initiation of chemotherapy to the date of death. There was no significant difference (hazard ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.6 to 1.1; P = 0,2) between the two groups in terms of overall survival. The median survival was 7.1 months (95% CI, 5.8-8.4 months) in the LMWH group and 5.9 months (95% CI, 5.1-6.7 months) in the non-LMWH group. A positive effect of LMWH was seen in patients with metastatic disease (hazard ratio for LMWH vs. non-LMWH, 0,6; 95% CI, 0,4 to 0,8; P = 0,006) in contrast to those without metastatic disease (hazard ratio for LMWH vs. non-LMWH, 1; 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.7; P = 0,96). The median survival of patients with metastatic disease was 6,6 months (95% CI, 5-8, 2 months) and 3.8 months (95% CI, 2.5-5.1 months) for the LMWH group and the non-LMWH group, respectively. In conclusion, we found for metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma a survival advantage for patients receiving LMWH. Nevertheless, our observations need confirmation by prospective randomized studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight