Background: We hypothesized that the clinical course of venous thromboembolism in patients with active cancer may differ according to the specificities of primary tumor site.
Aim and methods: We used data from RIETE (international registry of patients with venous thromboembolism) to compare the clinical venous thromboembolism-related outcomes during the course of anticoagulation in patients with one of the 4 more frequent cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal, or lung cancer).
Results: As of September 2014, 3947 cancer patients were recruited, of whom 938 had breast, 629 prostate, 1189 colorectal, and 1191 lung cancer. Overall, 55% had metastatic disease (42%, 36%, 53%, and 72%, respectively). During the course of anticoagulant therapy (mean duration, 139 days), the rate of thromboembolic recurrences was similar to the rate of major bleeding in patients with breast (5.6 [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.8-8.1] vs 4.1 [95% CI, 2.7-5.9] events per 100 patient-years) or colorectal cancer (10 [95% CI, 7.6-13] vs 12 [95% CI, 9.4-15] per 100 patient-years). In contrast, in patients with prostate cancer, the rate of venous thromboembolic recurrences was half the rate of major bleeding (6.9 [95% CI, 4.4-10] vs 13 [95% CI, 9.2-17] events per 100 patient-years), whereas in those with lung cancer, the rate of thromboembolic recurrences was twofold higher than the rate of major bleeding (27 [95% CI, 22-23] vs 11 [95% CI, 8.6-15] per 100 patient-years).
Conclusions: Significant differences in the clinical profile of venous thromboembolic-related outcomes were observed according to the site of cancer. These findings suggest the development of cancer-specific anticoagulant strategies as an area for further research.
Keywords: Anticoagulant therapy; Bleeding; Cancer; Mortality; Recurrences; Venous thromboembolism.
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