Conference Coverage

Phase 3 data support apixaban for cancer-associated VTE


Key clinical point: Apixaban is associated with a similar risk of major bleeding and a lower risk of VTE recurrence when compared with dalteparin in patients with cancer-associated VTE.

Major finding: There were no major bleeding events in the apixaban arm and two in the dalteparin arm (P = .14).

Study details: Phase 3 study of 300 patients.

Disclosures: This study was funded by BMS/Pfizer Alliance.

Source: McBane RD et al. ASH 2018, Abstract 421.



A secondary endpoint was major bleeding plus clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding. This occurred in nine (6.2%) patients in the apixaban arm and nine (6.3%) in the dalteparin arm (P = .88).

The researchers also assessed VTE recurrence. One patient in the apixaban arm (0.7%) and nine in the dalteparin arm (6.3%) had VTE recurrence (P = .03).

The patient in the apixaban arm experienced cerebral VT, and the patients with recurrence in the dalteparin arm had leg (n = 4) or arm (n = 2) VTE, PE (n = 1), or splanchnic VT (n = 2).

One patient in each arm (0.7%) had arterial thrombosis.

There was no significant difference in cumulative mortality between the treatment arms (hazard ratio, 1.40; P = .3078).

Satisfaction and discontinuation

Overall, apixaban fared better than dalteparin in the monthly patient satisfaction surveys. At various time points, apixaban-treated patients were significantly less likely to be concerned about excessive bruising, find anticoagulant treatment a burden or difficult to carry out, or say anticoagulant treatment added stress to their lives, negatively impacted their quality of life, or caused them “a great deal” of worry, irritation, or frustration.

However, apixaban-treated patients were less likely than dalteparin recipients to have confidence that their drug protected them from VTE recurrence, while the apixaban recipients were more likely than the dalteparin group to report overall satisfaction with their treatment.

In addition, premature treatment discontinuation was more common in the dalteparin group than in the apixaban group – 15% and 4%, respectively (P = .0012).

“Apixaban was well tolerated with superior patient safety satisfaction, as well as significantly fewer study drug discontinuations compared to dalteparin,” Dr. McBane said. “I believe that these data support the use of apixaban for the acute treatment of cancer-associated venous thromboembolism.”

This study was funded by BMS/Pfizer Alliance. Dr. McBane declared no other conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: McBane RD et al. ASH 2018, Abstract 421.

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