Esophagogastric cancer patients on chemotherapy more likely to develop VTE



Incidence rates for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) among esophagogastric cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy in combination with curative intended surgery were significantly higher among patients with initial stage III and IV cancers and gastric cancer, according to a new study published in Thrombosis Research.

In the clinical prospective study, 129 patients with lower esophageal, gastroesophageal, and gastric cancer were examined between 2008 and 2011. Baseline assessments were recorded via bilateral compression ultrasound (biCUS) for deep vein thrombosis and computer tomography pulmonary angiography for pulmonary embolism. The patients received a chemotherapy regimen of oxaliplatin, capecitabine, and epirubicin, with curative intended surgery, and were examined before undergoing preoperative chemotherapy, surgery, and postoperative chemotherapy. The researchers encountered 21 VTE cases, or 16% of the total number of patients examined, with VTE incidences twice as likely to be asymptomatic than symptomatic.

The authors noted that state-of-the-art technology helped boost VTE detection rates among asymptomatic patients, and older studies may have underreported incidences of the disease.

“Although our study only included 129 patients, the systematic use of biCUS strongly suggests that the frequency of VTE is much greater than that previously reported for these types of cancer,” wrote Dr. Anders Christian Larsen and his associates at Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.

Read more here (Thrombosis Research 2015 [doi:10.1016/j.thromres.2015.01.021]).

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