Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Pancreatic Cancer and Factors Associated With Outcomes

Gastroenterology. 2020 Apr;158(5):1346-1358.e4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.009. Epub 2019 Dec 14.


Background & aims: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with the highest incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) of any cancer type. However, little is known about risk factors for VTE or its outcomes in patients with PDAC.

Methods: We collected data from a prospective, observational study performed at multiple centers in France from May 2014 through November 2018 (the Base Clinico-Biologique de l'Adénocarcinome Pancréatique [BACAP] study) linked to a database of patients with a new diagnosis of PDAC of any stage. Data were collected from 731 patients at baseline and during clinical follow-up or in the event of symptoms. The primary endpoint was the onset of VTE during follow-up. The secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) times.

Results: During a median follow-up of 19.3 months, 152 patients (20.79%) developed a VTE. The median time from PDAC diagnosis to the onset of VTE was 4.49 months. Cumulative incidence values of VTE were 8.07% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.31-10.29) at 3 months and 19.21% (95% CI, 16.27-22.62) at 12 months. In multivariate analysis, PDAC primary tumor location (isthmus vs head: hazard ratio [HR], 2.06; 95% CI, 1.09-3.91; P = .027) and stage (locally advanced vs resectable or borderline: HR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.10-2.51, P = .016; metastatic vs resectable or borderline: HR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.64-3.79; P < .001) were independent risk factors for the onset of VTE. Patients who developed VTE during follow-up had shorter times of PFS (HR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.19-2.54; P = .004) and OS (HR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.57-2.60; P < .001).

Conclusion: In an analysis of data from the BACAP study, we found that frequent and early onsets of VTE after diagnoses of PDAC are associated with significant decreases in times of PFS and OS. Studies are needed to determine whether primary prophylaxis of VTE in patients with PDAC will improve morbidity and mortality related to VTE. (, Number: as number NCT02818829).

Keywords: Blood Clot; Complication; Pancreatic Cancer; Prognostic Factor.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology

Associated data