Background: Low-molecular-weight heparin is the guideline-endorsed treatment for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE). While apixaban is approved for the treatment of acute VTE, limited data support its use in cancer patients.
Objectives: The primary outcome was major bleeding. Secondary outcomes included VTE recurrence and a composite of major plus clinically relevant non-major bleeding (CRNMB).
Patients/methods: Patients with cancer-associated VTE were randomly assigned to receive either apixaban 10 mg twice daily for seven days followed by 5 mg twice daily for six months or subcutaneous dalteparin (200 IU/kg for one month followed by 150 IU/kg once daily).
Results: Of 300 patients randomized, 287 were included in the primary analysis. Metastatic disease was present in 66% of subjects; 74% were receiving concurrent chemotherapy. Major bleeding occurred in 0% of 145 patients receiving apixaban, compared with 1.4% of 142 patients receiving dalteparin [P = .138; hazard ratio (HR) not estimable because of 0 bleeding event in apixaban group]. Recurrent VTE occurred in 0.7% of apixaban, compared to 6.3% of dalteparin patients [HR 0.099, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.013-0.780, P = .0281). Major bleeding or CRNMB rates were 6% for both groups.
Conclusions: Oral apixaban was associated with low major bleeding and VTE recurrence rates for the treatment of VTE in cancer patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02585713.
Keywords: apixaban; bleeding; cancer; dalteparin; venous thromboembolism.
© 2019 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.