Prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients

Harisi Revekka
Dél-pesti Centrumkórház, Országos Hematológiai és Infektológiai Intézet, Onkológiai Osztály, Budapest

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and severe complication of cancer. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are the second most common cause of death in cancer patients. Cancer, tumor-related factors as well as patient’s general condition and comorbidities are responsible for the increased risk of VTE. Chemotherapy is one of the most important risk factors for VTE, increasing incidence of VTE by 6.5-fold. In my paper, current guidelines for cancer VTE prevention and treatment are reviewed. Hospitalized patients with active tumor are at higher risk for VTE, and thrombosis prophylaxis is recommended in all cases. Extensive, routine prophylaxis for advanced cancer patients receiving chemotherapy is not recommended, but may be considered in high-risk ambulatory cancer patients (Khorana-score ≥ 3). Risk factors may change during the course of cancer disease, and the score should be continually reviewed and prophylactic treatment changed as necessary. LMWH is the recommended agent for both primary and secondary prophylaxis/treatment. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are knocking on our door, but results from further clinical trials are pending to determine their exact role.

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