Cancer and thrombosis: back to the future renewed interest in an old problem.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer investigation, Volume 27, Issue 5, p.472-3 (2009)


Anticoagulants, Humans, Neoplasms, Thrombolytic Therapy, Venous Thrombosis


Cancer patients are at increased risk for thromboembolic complications due to the release of procoagulants, compression or invasion of blood vessels and the reduced mobility associated with cancer and cancer treatment. This has led to recommendations for thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medical and surgical cancer patients and extended prophylaxis in cancer patients experiencing a venous thromboembolism. Routine prophylactic anticoagulation is not currently recommended in ambulatory cancer patients except in very high risk settings. Another area of increasing research interest is the potential role of anticoagulants on tumor growth, invasiveness and metastasis. Several randomized controlled trials have suggested a potential benefit of anticoagulation on cancer patient survival. Additional investigation into these and related questions should represent a high priority area for future basic and translational cancer research.