Cancer-associated thrombosis: the when, how and why

Eur Respir Rev. 2019 Mar 27;28(151):180119. doi: 10.1183/16000617.0119-2018. Print 2019 Mar 31.


Cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) is a condition in which relevance has been increasingly recognised both for physicians that deal with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and for oncologists. It is currently estimated that the annual incidence of VTE in patients with cancer is 0.5% compared to 0.1% in the general population. Active cancer accounts for 20% of the overall incidence of VTE. Of note, VTE is the second most prevalent cause of death in cancer, second only to the progression of the disease, and cancer is the most prevalent cause of deaths in VTE patients. Nevertheless, CAT presents several peculiarities that distinguish it from other VTE, both in pathophysiology mechanisms, risk factors and especially in treatment, which need to be considered. CAT data will be reviewed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects*
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / adverse effects
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy*
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents