DR. WEEKS’ COMMENT: By the way, pay attention if you have cancer: heparin also inhibits metastatic disease and, in addition, inhibits angiogenesis. Ask for Heparin if your doctor gives you Coumadin. Yes it is a shot but it is a small shot!
Injectable treatment for blood clots in cancer patients increase
UPDATED: 02/14/2012 11:55:54 AM MST
By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
An injectable, clot-preventing drug known as Low Molecular Weight Heparin was more effective at preventing recurrent clots than warfarin in patients with cancer, according to a new study published in The Oncologist, funded by the National Cancer Institute and led by Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
The study noted that the use of LMWH has increased steadily between 2000 and 2007.
It added that a randomized controlled trial in July 2003 demonstrated that LMWH was more effective at preventing recurrent clots than warfarin in patients with cancer. In addition, current clinical guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology and National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend LMWH treatment for cancer-related clots.
The study was conducted by a team of Kaiser Permanente researchers from Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Northern California, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.
Patients were identified with advanced breast cancer, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer who received treatment between January 2000 and December 2008 at Group Health Cooperative and Kaiser Permanente regions in Colorado, Northern California and Washington.
Over the entire study period, 25 percent of patients received LMWH as a primary treatment for blood clots. A majority of patients, 74 percent overall, received warfarin-based therapy.
The study did not determine why warfarin continued to be the preferred anticoagulation therapy for advanced cancer patients.
Warfarin does have a long history of use in treatment of blood clots, and high-quality anticoagulation monitoring services are available in the health plans studied, possibly resulting in a high level of physician comfort with warfarin, the study said. In addition, because LMWH requires daily patient injections, patients may prefer warfarin, since it is available in tablet form.
SOURCE The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19962387?source=rss#ixzz1mT0DNlGy