[Treatment of cancer associated thrombosis]

Bull Cancer. 2022 May;109(5):528-536. doi: 10.1016/j.bulcan.2021.11.015. Epub 2022 Jan 19.
[Article in French]


In active cancers, venous thromboembolism is a poor prognosis factor and one of the main causes of death. Venous thromboembolism is 4 to 7 times more common in patients with active cancer compared with the general population. The risk of thrombosis depends on characteristics related to the patient, cancer, and current treatments. The management of these patients is essentially based on therapeutic anticoagulation, which prevents the progression of the thrombus and reduces the risk of recurrence. Risks of thromboembolism recurrence and bleeding are increased in oncologic context, despite therapeutic anticoagulation, which complicates the management of these patients. Low molecular weight heparins have been the treatment of choice in recent decades, because more effective than vitamin K antagonists with a similar tolerance profile. More recently, several studies have evaluated direct oral anticoagulants, which are easier to use, in cancer-associated thrombosis. Compared with low molecular weight heparins, direct oral anticoagulants have similar efficacity concerning thromboembolism recurrence, but an increased risk of bleeding observed mainly in gastrointestinal and urogenital cancers. This overview summarizes the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and therapeutic management of cancer-associated thrombosis.

Keywords: Anticoagulant; Cancer; MeSH: Thrombose; MeSH: Thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis* / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis* / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / drug therapy
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / prevention & control


  • Anticoagulants
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight