Warfarin: an acceptable treatment for cancer-associated thrombosis5 Dec 2015
The standard treatment for cancer patients who develop blood clots is three to six months of anticoagulant therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin. Yet, there are little data to support the best ongoing anti-clotting therapy beyond six months.
Clinical study with more than 1,000 participants
A recent study evaluated the records of 1,502 patients with cancer-associated thrombosis. Investigators selected patients who had completed treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin for six months and divided them into two groups – one group of 763 patients continued to receive low-molecular-weight heparin and the other group of 739 patients was switched to warfarin, another type of anticoagulant.
Because low-molecular-weight heparin requires self-injections, warfarin is often thought to be preferred because it can be taken in pill form.
After analyzing the results, the scientists reported that:
- The cumulative incidence of major bleeding was 2.6% in the low-molecular-weight heparin group and 2.7% in the warfarin group.
- The cumulative incidence of total bleeding was 6.7% in the low-molecular-weight heparin group and seven% in the warfarin group.
The study found that switching to warfarin is not associated with an increase in recurrent VTE, major bleeding, or total bleeding when compared to continuing low-molecular-weight heparin. Researchers concluded that warfarin is an acceptable alternative for low-molecular-weight heparin for patients with cancer-associated thrombosis.Source: eCancer News