Patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy were at higher risk of developing thromboembolism, particularly within the first year after diagnosis, a new study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Urology has shown.1

Because platinum-based chemotherapy is associated with vascular toxicity when used for the treatment of bladder cancer, a team of researchers led by Amit Gupta, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, sought to evaluate the short-term and intermediate-term vascular toxicity of platinum chemotherapy in older patients with bladder cancer.

Researchers analyzed data from 5,057 patients age 66 to 94 diagnosed with stage 2-3 bladder cancer between 1998 and 2007 included in the SEER database. Of those, 21.3% received platinum-based chemotherapy.

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Results showed that during the first year after diagnosis, patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy had a higher risk of thromboembolic events compared with those who did not receive chemotherapy (HR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.17-1.75). Researchers found that the risk of thromboembolism is similar for both carboplatin and cisplatin.

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During the 2 to 5 years after diagnosis, the study demonstrated no significant association between platinum-based chemotherapy and the risk of thromboembolic events.

Of note, platinum chemotherapy did not increase the risk of non-thromboembolic vascular events during either time period.


  1. Gupta A, Long JB, Chen J, et al. Risk of vascular toxicity with platinum-based chemotherapy in elderly patients with bladder cancer [published online ahead of print September 1, 2015]. J Uro. doi: 10.1016/j.uro.2015.08.088.