Oral Drugs Could Treat Blood Clots in Cancer Patients, Shows Study

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A new study found that daily doses of oral drugs can effectively treat almost 10 million cancer patients all over the world, who suffer from blood clotting.

In patients with cancer, the risk of blood clotting increases. Almost one in five patients can get venous thromboembolism (VTE). They can get a blood clot in a vein or in the arteries in the lungs.

In the clinical trial – called ‘select-d’, researchers have prescribed rivaroxaban and it reduced VTE in cancer patients. Lead author of the study, Annie Young (Professor at University of Warwick, Britain), explains how they started treating cancer patients with rivaroxaban:

“Clinicians were already adopting the oral drug into practice for non-cancer patients and now they have data from this study to indicate that this form of treatment is an alternative option for many cancer patients who have a clot.”

Moreover, Young said that cancer patients have an increased risk of getting VTE. Causes are chemotherapy, pancreatic or gastric tumors or immobility.

VTE Recurrence Rate Decreased

In the trial, researchers gathered 406 patients with cancer and VTE, and 69% of them were receiving cancer treatment (chemotherapy) while they had VTE.

The patients were split into two groups. Half of them received dalteparin (low-molecular-weight heparin) and the other half received rivaroxaban. The treatment carried on for six months. In the group that received rivaroxaban, VTE recurrence rate was 4%, and the group that received dalteparin had a recurrence of 11%.

According to the researcher, they received mixed secondary results.

Patients that received rivaroxaban had almost the same major bleeding events – 6%, than the patients that received dalteparin – 4%. However, non-major bleeds in patients that received rivaroxaban significantly increased (13%) compared to the patients that received dalteparin (4%).

In conclusion, the study says that the increase of bleeding isn’t known ye. Researchers believe that rivaroxaban is too powerful.

You can read more information on the study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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