Effect of warfarin anticoagulation on survival in carcinoma of the lung, colon, head and neck, and prostate. Final report of VA Cooperative Study #75

Cancer. 1984 May 15;53(10):2046-52. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19840515)53:10<2046::aid-cncr2820531007>3.0.co;2-f.


VA Cooperative Study #75 was established to test in a controlled, randomized trial the hypothesis that warfarin anticoagulation would favorably affect the course of certain types of malignancy. No differences in survival were observed between warfarin-treated and control groups for advanced non-small cell lung, colorectal, head and neck and prostate cancers. However, warfarin therapy was associated with a significant prolongation in the time to first evidence of disease progression (P = 0.016) and a significant improvement in survival (P = 0.018) for patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung, including the subgroup of patients with disseminated disease at the time of randomization (P = 0.013). A trend toward improved survival with warfarin treatment was observed for the few patients admitted to this study with non-small cell lung cancer who had minimal disease at randomization. These results suggest that warfarin, as a single anticoagulant agent, may favorably modify the course of some, but not all, types of human malignancy, among which is small cell carcinoma of the lung. Further trials of warfarin may be indicated in patients with limited disease who have cell types that failed to respond when advanced disease was present.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / mortality
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Colonic Neoplasms / blood
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / blood
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Random Allocation
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use*


  • Warfarin