Am J Ther. 2021 Sep 21;29(2):e212-e218. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000001451.
BACKGROUND: Apixaban, a direct inhibitor of activated coagulation factor X (FXaI), is being frequently selected for treatment and prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Several reports about possible use of oral FXaI in patients with cancer-associated VTE (CA-VTE) have been published recently.
AREAS OF UNCERTAINTY: The efficacy/safety profile of oral FXaI anticoagulation in patients with CA-VTE seems promising; however, several problems remain unanswered. The pharmacologic profile of apixaban could prefer this agent for the treatment of CA-VTE.
DATA SOURCES: Currently available medical literature was searched and reviewed to summarize data regarding the use of apixaban for the prevention and treatment of cancer-associated VTE.
RESULTS: Apixaban therapy in patients with cancer and VTE is expected to increase as clinicians gain more experience and reassurance with data from real-world studies that are generally promising. Several studies demonstrated that apixaban exhibits noninferiority to warfarin and low molecular weight heparin in preventing recurrent thrombosis in cancer-associated VTE. Nevertheless, there are still concerns regarding the bleeding associated with apixaban therapy, and regarding the optimal management of these bleeding emergencies.
THERAPEUTIC OPINION: Although currently available evidence confirms the noninferiority of apixaban for reduction of the risk of recurrent VTE in patients with cancer; there are still concerns regarding the safety, especially in selected subpopulations of these patients.