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VTE prophylaxis is feasible, effective in some high-risk cancer patients



A word of caution

Caution is warranted, however, when it comes to using DOACs in patients with higher-risk or potentially higher-risk tumor types, he added.

“It’s an important question we are facing as clinicians on a daily basis,” he said, responding to an attendee’s query, as shared by session moderator James Douketis, MD, professor of medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., regarding possible bleeding risks in certain genitourinary cancers.

A recent meta-analysis published in Nature, for example, noted that, in the SELECT-D trial, rivaroxaban was associated with significantly higher incidence of clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding, most often in bladder and colorectal cancers, and most often at genitourinary and gastrointestinal sites.

Both Dr. Carrier and fellow panelist Michael Streiff, MD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and medical director at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Special Coagulation Laboratory, Baltimore, said they approach DOAC use cautiously, but don’t rule it out entirely, in patients with unresected genitourinary tumors that could pose a risk of bleeding.

“It’s worth mentioning and being cautious. In my own personal practice, I’m very careful with unresected urothelial-type tumors or, for example, bladder cancer, for the same reason as [with] unresected luminal GI tumors,” Dr. Carrier said, adding that he’s also mindful that patients with nephropathy were excluded from U.S. DOAC trials because of bleeding risk.

He said he sometimes tries a LMWH challenge first in higher-risk patients, and then might try a DOAC if no bleeding occurs.

“But it certainly is controversial,” he noted.

Dr. Streiff added that he also worries less with genitourinary cancers than with upper GI lesions because “the signals weren’t as big as in GI” cancers, but he noted that “the drugs are going out through the kidneys ... so I’m cautious in those populations.”

“So caution, but not complete exclusion, is the operative management,” Dr. Douketis said, summarizing the panelists’ consensus.

Dr. Carrier reported clinical trial or advisory board participation for Bayer, Pfizer, Servier, Leo Pharma, and/or BMS.


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