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Cancer and Thrombosis

Spirk D, Ugi J, Korte W et al.  Thromb Hemost 2011;105:962–7.

The present consensus guidelines for patients with acute cancer-associated thrombosis recommend anticoagulation therapy of indefinite duration or until resolution of the cancer. In this study of over 1000 patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) enrolled in the Swiss VTE Registry II, >300 had cancer. Long-term anticoagulation treatment for >1 year duration was more regularly planned in patients with cancer than in those without, in recurrent cancer-associated VTE than in first cancer-associated VTE, and in metastatic cancer than in non-metastatic cancer. The findings suggest that long-term anticoagulation treatment (>1 year) was planned in <50% of cancer patients with acute VTE.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) constitutes the second leading cause of death in patients with neoplasms. In comparison with patients without cancer, the risk of recurrent VTE is increased both on anticoagulation and subsequent to discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy in patients with active neoplasms. The current guidelines of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) recommend anticoagulation therapy for an indefinite duration or until the neoplasm can be considered resolved.

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