Treatment with therapeutic anticoagulation is not associated with immunotherapy response in advanced cancer patients

J Transl Med. 2021 Jan 30;19(1):47. doi: 10.1186/s12967-021-02712-w.


Background: Recent preclinical data suggest that there may be therapeutic synergy between immune checkpoint blockade and inhibition of the coagulation cascade. Here, we investigate whether patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) and were on concomitant anticoagulation (AC) experienced better treatment outcomes than individuals not on AC.Affiliation: Kindly confirm if corresponding authors affiliation is identified correctly.The corresponding author's affiliation is correct.

Methods: We studied a cohort of 728 advanced cancer patients who received 948 lines of ICI at NYU (2010-2020). Patients were classified based on whether they did (n = 120) or did not (n = 828) receive therapeutic AC at any point during their treatment with ICI. We investigated the relationship between AC status and multiple clinical endpoints including best overall response (BOR), objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and the incidence of bleeding complications.Affiliations: Journal instruction requires a country for affiliations; however, this is missing in affiliations 1 to 5. Please verify if the provided country is correct and amend if necessary.The country is correct for all affiliations (1 - 5).

Results: Treatment with AC was not associated with significantly different BOR (P = 0.80), ORR (P =0.60), DCR (P =0.77), PFS (P = 0.59), or OS (P =0.64). Patients who received AC were significantly more likely to suffer a major or clinically relevant minor bleed (P = 0.05).

Conclusion: AC does not appear to impact the activity or efficacy of ICI in advanced cancer patients. On the basis of our findings, we caution that there is insufficient evidence to support prospectively evaluating the combination of AC and immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants