Adherence to treatment guidelines for cancer-associated thrombosis: a French hospital-based cohort study
OBJECTIVES To assess adherence to French guidelines for curative treatment of thromboembolism in cancer patients, and to identify factors limiting their implementation. PATIENTS AND METHODS Retrospective analysis of the medical files of cancer patients diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE) in one site between January 1st, 2010 and June 30th, 2011. Central venous catheter thrombosis and superficial vein thrombosis were excluded. RESULTS The series included 145 patients, among whom 113 (78%) had solid tumors (at a metastatic stage in 68% of cases) and 33 (22%) had hematologic malignancies. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) was prescribed as long-term treatment (>10 days) for 83 patients (57.2%) and a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) for 33 patients (22.7%). Bleeding required treatment modifications or discontinuation in 11 (7.5%) and 10 (6.8%) patients respectively. After 6 months, LMWH, VKA and fondaparinux were prescribed for 28, 27 and six (19.3%, 18.6% et 4.1%) patients respectively. Mean duration of anticoagulation was 176.8 days. Treatment was not affected by a history of venous thromboembolism, the presence of pulmonary embolism or proximal deep vein thrombosis but it was significantly shorter in case of thrombosis limited to muscular veins (115.5 vs 182.3 days, P<0.05). Overall, guidelines were fully implemented in only 68 (46.9%) patients, with regards to the choice of pharmacological class and duration of treatment. CONCLUSION Adherence to national guidelines is insufficient and actions must be taken to improve the management of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients.