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Advances in cancer therapy have led to a significant improvement of survival in most types of malignancies over the past few decades. As a result, there is a growing population of cancer survivors, expected to reach 18 million people in 2030 in the US and a similar number in Europe. Interestingly, cancer survivor studies have shown that although about half of these patients eventually die of cancer, one third of them actually die of cardiovascular disease. Arrhythmias represent a significant part of cardiovascular complications and atrial fibrillation is the main arrhythmia occurring in cancer patients.Antithrombotic therapy is a challenge: the optimal international normalized ratio (INR) level in patients on therapy with vitamin K antagonists is achieved in only 12% of them; in these patients, direct oral anticoagulants seem to be effective and safe for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events compared to warfarin and have similar risk of major bleeding. Among the trials, ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 provides more data on the efficacy and safety of edoxaban in cancer patients.
PMID: 30284558 [PubMed - in process]