January 17, 2019 – Blood Clots and Cancer


Anchor lead: Medication may help people with cancer avoid blood clots, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Apixiban is the name of an anti-blood clotting medicine that’s been used for some time in people with heart disease. Now a new study shows it can help people with some types of cancer avoid blood clots. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says about 10% of those with common cancers like breast or prostate may experience blood clots, which can be life threatening.

Nelson: With apixiban that was reduced to 4.2%. The major concern of any medicine you take to prevent blood clots is that you might bleed. Significant bleeding occurred in 3.5% of the apixiban treated folks and 1.8% of the placebo, so it’s effective, there is a little bit increased risk of bleeding and that’s the kind of calculus a physician can use to make recommendations as to whether an individual with a solid organ cancer is at a high enough risk to clot or high enough risk to bleed to make a choice whether or not to use a drug like this.  :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.