VTE Risk May be Higher in Patients Who Receive Chemotherapy

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Risk of venous thromboembolism may be higher in patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy.
Risk of venous thromboembolism may be higher in patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy.

Risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) may be higher in patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy, according to a study published in The Oncologist.1

Additionally, a popular risk score for VTE in patients with cancer may be associated with risk of early mortality.

Researchers led by Nicole Kuderer, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, conducted a large, nationwide, prospective cohort study of 4405 adults who had solid tumors or lymphoma and were initiating chemotherapy within 115 practice sites from 2002 to 2006.

They wanted to evaluate the previously validated VTE Clinical Risk Score using Kaplan and Meier to estimate for survival and cancer progression.

Among the observed patients, 134 had died and 330 experienced disease progression during the first 4 months of therapy. Patients who were found to be at high risk by the Clinical Risk Score had a 120-day mortality rate of 12.7% while intermediate-risk patients had a rate of 5.9% and low-risk patients had a 1.4% rate.

At 120 days of follow-up, the researchers also found that cancer progression had occurred in 27.2% of high-risk patients and 16.4% of intermediate-risk patients compared to 8.5% of low-risk patients.

RELATED: Study Supports Stopping Anticoagulation for VTE After Cancer Is Cured

“The Clinical Risk Score, originally developed to predict the occurrence of VTE, is also predictive of early mortality and cancer progression during the first 4 cycles of outpatient chemotherapy, independent from other major prognostic factors including VTE itself,” the authors concluded.


  1. Kuderer NM, Culakova E, Lyman GH, et al. A Validated Risk Score for Venous Thromboembolism Is Predictive of Cancer Progression and Mortality. [published online ahead of print April 28, 2016.] The Oncologist. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2015-0361.

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