Potential of new anticoagulants in patients with cancer
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Cancer-associated thrombosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although anticoagulation remains the mainstay for prevention and treatment of thrombosis, current anticoagulants are problematic in cancer patients. Parenteral anticoagulants, such as heparin or low-molecular heparin, require daily subcutaneous injection, whereas warfarin requires coagulation monitoring and frequent dose adjustments. Idrabiotaparinux, a reversible long-acting pentasaccharide, and new oral anticoagulants, such as dabigatran etexilate, rivaroxaban and apixaban, have been designed to replace warfarin for extended prevention or treatment of VTE. Clinical trials with these agents have yielded promising results, and dabigatran etexilate and rivaroxaban are already licensed in many countries for thromboprophylaxis after elective hip or knee replacement surgery. In the coming years, these drugs are likely to replace warfarin for most indications. This paper addresses their potential role for prevention and treatment of cancer-related thrombosis.
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