Thursday January 17, 2019

Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have showed.

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Blood cells, pixabay

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have shown.

People with cancer have an increased risk of developing blood clots, with roughly one in five experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE) — either a blood clot in a deep vein or a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.

The results from the clinical trial called “select-d” suggested that prescribing the oral drug rivaroxaban significantly reduced VTE recurrence among patients with cancer.

“Clinicians were already adopting the oral drug into practice for non-cancer patients and now they have data from this study to indicate that this form of treatment is an alternative option for many cancer patients who have a clot,” said lead author Annie Young, Professor at the University of Warwick in Britain.

Although there are many causes and risk factors for VTE, cancer patients are particularly at risk due to a combination of factors such as immobility, pancreatic and gastric tumours as well as chemotherapy, the researcher said.

The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
Representational image, pixabay

For the “select-d” trial, researchers enrolled 406 patients who had cancer and VTE; most (69 per cent) were receiving cancer treatment (typically chemotherapy) at the time of their VTE.

Half were randomly assigned to receive low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin) and half were given the oral drug rivaroxaban. After six months of treatment, the VTE recurrence rate was four per cent among those taking the tablet and 11 per cent in those receiving dalteparin.

The results for secondary outcomes were mixed, the researcher said.

In patients receiving rivaroxaban, there were around the same percentage of major bleeding events (6 per cent) as those receiving dalteparin (4 per cent) but a marked and significant increase in clinically relevant non-major bleeds (13 per cent) with rivaroxaban compared to those having low molecular weight heparin (4 per cent).

Also Read: Drug Used For Osteoporosis May Help in Reducing Heart Attack Risk

The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more ‘potent’, the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)

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Risk Of Suicide Quadruples With Cancer: Study

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly.

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A Family In Delhi Commits Suicide To Thank God: Police Reports
While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

People with cancer are over four times more likely to commit suicide than people without the deadly disease, finds a study.

According to researchers from the Penn State Cancer Institute in Pennsylvania, while a lot of progress has been made in treating cancer, not as much research has been put into how cancer affects patients mentally and emotionally.

“Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death, most cancer patients do not die from cancer, the patients usually die of another cause,” said Nicholas Zaorsky, radiation oncologist at the Penn State Cancer Institute.

“There are multiple competing risks for death, and one of them is suicide. Distress and depression can arise from cancer diagnosis, treatment, financial stress, and other causes. Ultimately, distress and depression may lead to suicide. Our goal was to quantify the risk of suicide among cancer patients,” he added.

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The study, published in the Nature Communications journal, the team compared the risk of suicide in eight million patients who had been diagnosed with cancer and those without.

They found that among people with cancer, males, patients who were diagnosed at a younger age, patients with lung, head, neck and testicular cancer, and lymphomas were more likely to commit suicide.

While the risk of suicide decreases five years after a diagnosis, the risk remains high for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer.

“Treatments for some cancers — like leukemia and testicular cancer among adolescents and young adults, for example — can decrease a patient’s fertility, and that seems to be one of the risks for suicide in the long term,” Zaorsky said.

Also Read: Here’s What Causes Cancer in Children

“In contrast, elderly patients who are diagnosed with lung, prostate and head and neck cancers, are at an increased risk of suicide for the remainder of their life.”

The results could be used to help identify patients who may be at a higher risk for suicide and help health care providers tailor their treatments accordingly. (IANS)