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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 884-885

Challenges in cancer associated thrombosis (CAT)

Department of Medicine, Cancer Thrombosis Clinic, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhaba National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission10-Oct-2020
Date of Decision16-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance17-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Anuprita Daddi
Department of Medicine, Cancer Thrombosis Clinic, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr E Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_316_20

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How to cite this article:
Daddi A. Challenges in cancer associated thrombosis (CAT). Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:884-5

How to cite this URL:
Daddi A. Challenges in cancer associated thrombosis (CAT). Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 23];3:884-5. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/4/884/304986

We read the original article titled “Cancer thrombosis: Narrative review” by Munot et al.[1] Published in Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment with great interest. It is indeed a very informative review article that brings awareness and covers almost every important aspect of cancer thrombosis.

However we, would like to make the following comments:

  1. Tumor thrombosis – Many cancers such as Wilms' tumor, renal cell carcinoma, adrenal cortical carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma (RCC), intravenous leiomyomatosis (though rare), islet cell tumors of the pancreas, and thyroid, testicular, lung, colorectal cancers commonly show macrovascular invasion to nearby vessels along with infiltration of primary site. Cases of embolization leading to stroke, bowel infarction, and left ventricular obstruction causing sudden death have also been reported. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) scan helps to distinguish tumor thrombus from “bland” thrombus (free of neoplastic cells).[2] This is a very important differentiation to make before the initiation of anticoagulation, as anticoagulation plays no role in tumor thrombosis. Also, the presence of tumor thrombus markedly worsens the prognosis and impacts the treatment approach. In such cases, surgical excision along with chemotherapy plays an important role.
  2. Arterial thrombosis – There is an increased risk of arterial thrombosis in patients with cancer. The incidence of arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs) has been reported to be 4.7% at 6 months of cancer diagnosis in patients.[3] ATEs can result from the use of certain chemotherapeutic drugs like vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors, platinum-based agents, taxanes, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors and are predictive of worse outcomes. In patients without cardiovascular risk factors, an episode of ATE can be considered as an indication to screen for occult malignancies. Similarly, radiation therapy also predisposes patients to ATE due to accelerated atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, endothelial damage and fibrin deposition by activating the coagulation cascade.
  3. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) – Although DOACs are now a preferred alternative to low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) with no need for frequent monitoring and convenient mode of administration, the clinical effect of various drug interactions with the DOACs is not well described. DOAC's interact with other drugs primarily though the cytochrome P450 (CYP) and P-glycoprotein efflux transporter. Four inhibitors of CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein with moderate activity have been identified, namely abiraterone, crizotinib, cyclosporine, and imatinib. The administration of these drugs concomitantly with the DOAC's can lead to an increase in the concentration of the DOACs in the plasma. Drugs such as bexarotene, paclitaxel, prednisone, and vemurafenib moderately induce the CYP3A4 activity without affecting the P-glycoprotein transporter. Bicalutamide inhibits the activity of CYP3A4 to a moderate extent and if used concomitantly, can increase the concentration of apixaban and rivaroxaban in the plasma.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10]
  4. Venous thromboembolism in the palliative setting – In the palliative setting, there are no specific guidelines for VTE prophylaxis. An informed decision along with the patients and their caregivers should be made regarding the initiation of anticoagulation. Lifelong anticoagulation may be required as there is a high risk of VTE recurrence if anticoagulation is stopped. However, most authorities recommend discontinuation of anticoagulation in actively dying patients.
  5. Superficial vein thrombosis – If it is progressive or proximal to the deep veins (approximately 3 cm), anticoagulation with therapeutic dose LMWH for 6 weeks is suggested (National Comprehensive Cancer Network 2018)
  6. Recurrent VTE – Along with drug compliance, and the underlying disease burden, some situations also warrant thrombophilia profile evaluation.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Munot PN, Noronha V, Patil V, Joshi A, Menon N, Prabhash K. Cancer thrombosis: Narrative review. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:501-16.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Quencer KB, Friedman T, Sheth R, Oklu R. Tumor thrombus: incidence, imaging, prognosis and treatment. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2017;7(Suppl 3):S165-S177.  Back to cited text no. 2
Navi BB, Reiner AS, Kamel H, Iadecola C, Okin PM, Elkind MSV, et al. Risk of Arterial Thromboembolism in Patients With Cancer. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70:926-38.  Back to cited text no. 3
Guidelines for the Management for Cancer Associated Thrombosis Vol XVI (Part C) TMH 2019 ISBN-978-93-82963-23-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
Farge D, Debourdeau P, Beckers M, Baglin C, Bauersachs RM, Brenner B, et al. International clinical practice guidelines for the treatment and prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in patients with cancer. J Thromb Haemost 2013;11:56-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
Akl EA, Labedi N, Barba M, Terrenato I, Sperati F, Muti P, et al. Anticoagulation for the long-term treatment of venous thromboembolism in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011:CD006650.  Back to cited text no. 6
Blot E, Gutman F, Thannberger A. Response to “Low-molecular-weight heparin versus a coumarin for the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism in patients with cancer [letter]”. N Engl J Med 2003;349:1385-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Rose AJ, Sharman JP, Ozonoff A, Henault LE, Hylek EM. Effectiveness of warfarin among patients with cancer. J Gen Intern Med 2007;22:997-1002.  Back to cited text no. 8
Schulman S, Kearon C, Kakkar AK, Mismetti P, Schellong S, Eriksson H, et al. Dabigatran versus warfarin in the treatment of acute venous thromboembolism. N Engl J Med 2009;361:2342-52.  Back to cited text no. 9
EINSTEIN Investigators, Bauersachs R, Berkowitz SD, Brenner B, Buller HR, Decousus H, et al. Oral rivaroxaban for symptomatic venous thromboembolism. N Engl J Med 2010;363:2499-510.  Back to cited text no. 10


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