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Despite the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), the need for more effective and safer antithrombotic strategies exists. Recently, the findings stating that the contact system is important for thrombus formation has identified factor XI as a potential target for new anticoagulants. Approximately 20-30% of patients who develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) also have cancer. To date, the drugs primarily used in the treatment of VTE are heparin in the acute phase and warfarin in the chronic phase. Recently, a large-scale international clinical trial, which examined the composite outcomes of VTE recurrence and major bleeding in cancer patients, found that edoxaban, a direct factor Xa inhibitor, is not inferior to low-molecular-weight heparin. The study also showed that DOACs have a promising potential to prove therapeutically effective in future studies. Anticoagulants are associated with a severe side effect, bleeding, which makes emergency neutralization an important concern. Four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate can be used to reverse the effect of warfarin and could also be effective as a neutralizing agent in patients having received DOACs. Moreover, more specific reversing agents include the approved human monoclonal antibody fragment idarucizumab for reversing the effects of dabigatran.
PMID: 29973459 [PubMed - in process]