Mark Crowther, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Moderator of the session, Mark Crowther, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leo Pharma Chair in Thromboembolism Research at McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada, said that the CASSINI study represents a major advance in the management and prevention of a very common illness that affects patients with cancer.
“Deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are common in patients undergoing treatment for cancer and in an ideal world would be completely or largely preventable,” said Dr. Crowther. “We’ve never before had good-quality evidence that an intervention that is easy to use, relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of cancer therapy, and tolerable to patients can actually reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism.”
Improved thromboprophylaxis will certainly save lives, said Dr. Crowther. However, reducing blood clots in patients with cancer is important for other reasons as well.
“The last thing patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer or colon cancer want is to have an additional complication develop, and a deep-vein thrombosis may require hospitalization,” Dr. Crowther continued. “In our current treatment algorithms, many of those patients would actually receive treatment with a low–molecular-weight heparin, which is an injection. So you’re avoiding not just complexity but also an event that is unpalatable to a patient who is undergoing cancer therapy.” ■
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Crowther disclosed relationships with Alexion, Alnylam, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Leo Pharma, Octapharma, and Pfizer.
Alok A. Khorana, MD, presented results of the CASSINI trial. Photo by © ASH/Scott Morgan.
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