Oral drug treatment helps protect cancer patients from potentially deadly DVT and pulmonary embolism

University of Warwick| May 2018 |Oral drug treatment helps protect cancer patients from potentially deadly DVT and pulmonary embolism

Patients with a diagnosis of cancer are at high risk of developing blood clots. 20 per cent of cancer patients will develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) – either deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). This is due to a number of factors including immobility (if in bed poorly), pancreatic and gastric tumours, and chemotherapy. Because VTE can be life-threatening, blood thinners are used to shrink existing clots and prevent others from forming.

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Currently, international guidelines recommend cancer patients are injected with an anticoagulant (a low molecular weight heparin) to treat and prevent recurrence of VTE. Now scientists from the University of Warwick suggest that taking a tablet a day can help treat cancer patients for a potentially deadly condition.  The results of a large trial run at the University’s  Medical School called ‘select-d’ indicate that a daily tablet could be a beneficial alternative for treating VTE in selected patients, and  that prescribing the oral drug rivaroxaban (Xarelto) significantly reduced venous thromboembolism recurrence among patients with cancer and VTE

 

Lead researcher Professor Annie Young said,

“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.” ( Source: University of Warwick).

The full, unedited press release is available from University of Warwick 

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