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.
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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.