Prevalence of occult cancer is low among patients with first unprovoked venous thromboebolism (VTE), according to a Canadian study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
In a multicenter, open-label, controlled trial, researchers led by Marc Carrier, MD, of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute randomized 854 patients with unprovoked VTE to either limited occult-cancer screening or limited occult-cancer screening in combination with comprehensive computed tomography (CT).
Primary outcome was confirmed cancer that was missed by the screening strategy but detected by the end of the one-year follow-up.
The researchers found that 14 of the 431 patients in the limited-screening group as well as 19 of the 423 patients in the limited-screening with CT group had a new diagnosis of occult cancer between randomization and one-year follow-up.
They also found that, upon primary analysis, four occult cancers were missed by the limited-screening strategy as well as five occult cancers in the limited-screening plus CT strategy. No significant difference was found between the two groups with regard to mean time to cancer diagnosis.
- Carrier, Marc, MD, et al. “Screening for Occult Cancer in Unprovoked Venous Thromboembolism.” The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1506623. June 22, 2015.