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Cancer patients with blood clots gain no benefit from adding IVCF to fondaparinux

Cancer patients with blood clots -- which occur in one of every 200 cancer patients and are the second most common cause of death among cancer patients -- gain no benefit from the insertion of an inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) to the anticoagulant medication fondaparinux (Arixtra), according to research presented today at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

"This is the first prospective study to evaluate the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) or blood clots in cancer patients and is a potentially practice-changing clinical trial," said principal investigator Dr. Myra Barginear, M.D., of The North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, U.S.A. The inferior vena cava is a large blood vessel in the abdomen that carries blood from the lower parts of the body back to the heart. A thin-mesh IVC filter can be placed in the inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots, or VTEs, from reaching the heart.

In the study, sixty-four patients with deep venous thrombosis (86%) and/or pulmonary embolism (55%) received fondaparinux. About half of patients received only fondaparinux, while the other half received fondaparinux in conjunction with an IVCF.

The median survival for patients receiving only fondaparinux was 493 days, compared with 266 days for patients on fondaparinux plus an IVCF. Meanwhile, a median 52% of patients on fondaparinux alone experienced a complete resolution of VTEs, compared with 45% of patients on fondaparinux plus IVCF.

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»IASLC »IVCF »VTE »blood clot »lung cancer

The study suggests that there is no benefit from costly and invasive IVCF placement in patients who are receiving fondaparinux. The results also support future randomized trials to compare VTE resolution rates achieved with fondaparinux with low molecular weight heparin, another class of anticoagulant medication.

Dr. Myra Barginear will discuss the research with journalists during a WCLC press conference at 10 a.m. CET on Thursday, July 7. For individual interview requests, please call Renée McGaw at +31 20 549 3413 between July 3-7 in the press office at Amsterdam RAI, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. You may also email her at

About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), based in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1972, the association's membership includes more than 3,000 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries.

IASLC members promote the study of etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. IASLC disseminates information about lung cancer to scientists, members of the medical community and the public, and uses all available means to eliminate lung cancer as a health threat for the individual patients and throughout the world. Membership is open to any physician, health professional or scientist interested in lung cancer.

IASLC publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, a valuable resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. To learn more about IASLC please visit

Renée McGaw | EurekAlert!
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