More than 1-million people each year develop blood clots in their veins. This condition, which is known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), affects more than 20 percent of cancer patients and can be particularly deadly for them.
“VTE is the leading cause of death in cancer patients after cancer itself,” said University of Minnesota School of Public Health associate professor and VTE researcher Dr. Pamela Lutsey. “It’s a serious, significant problem.”
To better understand treatment options for VTE in cancer patients, Dr. Lutsey recently co-authored a study evaluating the safety of using a new type of drugs, called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). She found that among cancer patients with VTE the newer medications appear to be just as safe to use as the older, commonly used (but less convenient) options of heparin and warfarin. The study was published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.