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Introduction - After the CLOT study, LMWHs (low-molecular weight heparins) have gradually replaced warfarin as the treatment of choice for VTE (venous thromboembolism) in cancer patients. Randomized controlled studies comparing DOACs (direct oral anticoagulants) to LMWHs in cancer patients are still limited. However, new emerging data are supporting the use of DOACs in cancer-associated thrombosis. Areas Covered - This review will discuss the recent studies that addressed the utilization of such agents in the treatment of VTE in cancer patients. It will also address challenges that can be encountered while using these agents particularly in cancer patients. Expert Commentary - Up until the Hokusai VTE Cancer study, data on the use of DOACs in cancer patients have been limited but supportive of their use in such patients. The Hokusai VTE Cancer study shows that edoxaban is non-inferior to dalteparin in prevention of recurrent VTE but at expense of higher major bleeding namely in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Although further studies involving other DOACs may reinforce the efficacy of DOACs in this population of patients, studies looking at subpopulation of cancer patients may be of more clinical value to clinicians who are trying to balance between treatment of thrombosis and risks of bleeding.
PMID: 29791257 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]