What’s the best VTE treatment for patients with cancer?
Q: What’s the best VTE treatment for patients with cancer? Evidence-based answer: No. Head-to-head studies directly compare all the main treatments for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients. Long-term treatment (3-12 months) with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) reduces recurrence of VTE by 40% compared with vitamin K antagonists (VKA), but doesn’t change rates of mortality, major or minor bleeding, or intracranial hemorrhage in patients with solid or hematologic cancer at any stage or in any age group. Initial treatment with LMWH reduces mortality by 30% compared with unfractionated heparin (UFH) for 5 to 10 days followed by warfarin, but doesn’t alter recurrent VTE or bleeding. Non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have risks of recurrent VTE or VTE-related death (composite outcome) and clinically significant bleeding comparable to VKA or LMWH/VKA (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials [RCTs], mostly of low quality).
JOURNAL OF FAMILY PRACTICE | OCTOBER 2018 | VOL 67, NO 10: E4-E5.