Primary prevention of venous thromboembolism in medical and surgical oncology patients.

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Primary prevention of venous thromboembolism in medical and surgical oncology patients.

Br J Cancer. 2010 Apr 13;102 Suppl 1:S10-6

Authors: Stanley A, Young A

Recent data suggest that patients with a malignancy have a seven-fold increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared with those without cancer, suggesting that these patients may benefit from thromboprophylaxis. Mechanisms for the prevention of thromboembolism can be divided into two broad categories: mechanical and pharmacological. Although generally used in combination with pharmacotherapy, little evidence exists for the efficacy of mechanical modalities either in the broader population of patients at risk for VTE or for patients with cancer specifically. A recent study using graduated compression stockings (GCS) for thromboprophylaxis showed no support for the use of stockings in acute stroke patients. Established pharmacological modalities, including warfarin, unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), and the factor Xa inhibitor fondaparinux, have been shown to reduce risk for VTE in general medical and surgical populations. In medical cancer patients, only limited data are available for the efficacy of thromboprophylaxis. In contrast, considerable evidence indicates that thromboprophylaxis is warranted in patients undergoing cancer surgery. The most recent evidence suggests that catheter-related thrombosis is not prevented by current pharmacological modalities. On 22 May 2009, a group of clinicians based in the United Kingdom (UK) met in London, UK, to evaluate recent data on cancer thrombosis. This article (the second of four) briefly reviews key data on the prevention of VTE in medical and surgical oncology patients, providing context for a brief transcript of the surrounding discussion and a consensus statement, developed by meeting attendees, on the implications of this information for UK clinical practice.

PMID: 20386544 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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