Should DOACs be Used for Treatment of Cancer-Related Thromboembolism?

Patients with active cancer are at an increased risk of arterial and venous thromboembolism (VTE) and bleeding events. Until recently, low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) were generally the preferred therapeutic class for treatment of VTE in patients with cancer. However, LMWH use is limited in the outpatient setting by parenteral administration. Recently, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have demonstrated efficacy in large randomized clinical trials of patients with both VTE and atrial fibrillation and are recommended over warfarin in certain populations. Given the attractive oral dosing option and lack of laboratory montioring, DOAC use have been used for VTE treatment for patients with cancer. In this blog, we summarize the available trial data and provide clinical recommendations for VTE treatment in patients with cancer.