The impact of thromboprophylaxis on cancer survival: focus on pancreatic cancer

Authors: Mandalàà, Mario; Tondini, Carlo

Source: Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, 1 April 2011, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 579-588(10)


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Pancreatic cancer is still a clinical challenge due to its predominantly late diagnosis and the chemoresistance to cytotoxic and target drugs. One of the major complications of pancreatic cancer is venous thromboembolism (VTE). Both ambulatory and hospitalized pancreatic cancer patients are at higher risk of developing VTE. Among patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer, the occurrence of VTE may be associated with a poor prognosis. Furthermore, emerging clinical data strongly suggest that anticoagulant treatment may improve patient survival by decreasing thromboembolic complications as well as by anticancer activity. Given the clinical relevance for both physicians and basic scientists, this article focuses on the experimental and clinical evidence supporting the relation between the coagulation cascade and the invasive and metastatic potential of pancreatic cancer, and suggests that anticoagulant therapy may represent a useful strategy to improve the prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients.

Keywords: anticoagulation; cancer; pancreatic cancer; prognosis; venous thromboembolism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1Unit of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology and Haematology, Ospedali Riuniti, Largo Barozzi 1, Bergamo 24126, Italy

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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