ASCO Guidelines: Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer Guideline Update

ASCO eLearning Podcasts

0:00
10:33
10
10

ASCO Guidelines: Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer Guideline Update

ASCO eLearning Podcasts

An interview with Dr. Anna Falanga on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." The guideline revises several previous recommendations. Most notably, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been added as options for VTE prophylaxis and treatment.

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines

Find all of ASCO's podcasts at podcast.asco.org 

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, my name is Clifford Hudis and I am the CEO of ASCO and the host of the ASCO in Action Podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in health care and experts in oncology, and we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. 

 You can find the ASCO in Action Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show, and you can find all 9 of ASCO’s podcasts which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. Anna Falanga from the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Senior author on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Update." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Falanga.

Yes, thank you. I am very happy to talk on the update of the ASCO VTE guidelines.

So this guideline was first published in 2007 with an update in 2013 and a reaffirmation in 2015. So what prompted this 2019 update?

Thanks for this first question. I think that an update was urgently needed at this time. You know, before, the ASCO guidelines were published in 2007. And then an update was made in 2013, and the second one in 2015.

But in 2015 was basically a confirmation of the previous 2013 update. Now the update was urgently needed, because in the very recent years there has been even more evidence of the relevance and impact of a venous thromboembolism in the cancer patients. But in addition, and very importantly, new data from prospective randomized clinical trials with the new drugs for the management of VT in the oncological patients have become available. In particular, as you know, low molecular weight heparins were largely used in the setting of the treatment and trauma prophylaxis in the cancer patients. And actually, the low molecular weight tapering have been the standard of treatment for many years. However, recently the results of prospective randomized clinical trials of direct oral anticoagulant, particularly, the anti-Xa inhibitors, Edoxaban and Rivaroxaban, for cancer associated with [INAUDIBLE] treatment support the role of this new oral agent in the VT management in this setting. And this is related to new politics in the VT management in these patients.

So what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

The main changes to the previous recommendations are first that Rivaroxaban and Edoxiban, the two anti-Xa inhibitors oral anticoagulants have been added as an option for routine treatment in cancer patients in this update. Also, now we may offer thrombo prophylaxis with Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, or low molecular weight tapering to selected high-risk outpatients with cancer. And about other changes of these new guidelines compared to the last one include that patients with brain metastases have been addressed in the VT type treatment sections, whereas before, only patients with the primary tumors were mentioned in the previous edition.

And finally, the recommendation regarding long-term postoperative thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin expanded to patients undergoing a major open or laparoscopic abdominal or pelvic surgery. These are the main changes that all I think are very, very important.

Why is this guideline so important? And how does it affect practice?

Well, I think that the question how these changes affect our practice is a very important question, because I believe that these guidelines reflect the new evidence that we have from the new data. And this data clearly expand our possibility to choose now between the different treatment options in the single patient in the cancer population.

For instance, the new data show that treatment with [INAUDIBLE] anticoagulants compared to low molecular weight heparin lower the risk of a recurrent thrombosis. But in some instances there's a higher risk of bleeding, particularly in the gastrointestinal and urinary tract cancer patients. So therefore it is evident that the patient selection and the individualization of a therapy based on the patient characteristics and the type of cancer-- all these become very important.

And we have the possibility now to choose between different treatments, or in the same patients we can change from one treatment to the other according to the face of the disease or complications if the patient is in a phase that is assuming chemotherapy with many side effects like nausea and vomiting. Of course, in these cases a parenteral injection is preferable for the management of a venous thromboembolism. Whereas in other instances, a long-term and oral intake is surely more convenient. So it depends also from the level of risk. But now for the six months treatment we can offer different choice of the oral treatment and also for high-risk patients the primary prophylaxis with Apixaban Rivaroxoaban, and a low molecular weight tapering can be chosen.

And what should patients be aware of when it comes to VTE risks and treatments?

I think that patients should be educated about the risk of a cancer associated with VTE. You know, there is that evidence that they are educated about it. And they know a lot better about neutropenia, and the fever associated with this the neutropenic condition and the other side effect. But they know very little about the possibility that they can experience venous thromboembolism. 

So I think they should be taught on how to recognize the symptoms and alert their physician. You know, sometimes the symptoms are indistinguishable It can be just a little pain in the calf. And patients must know that these are to be considered important. They must alert their physician to undergo some test-- objective test-- to see if there is a real thrombosis in the leg or not. This is extremely important, because one important consequence of venous thromboembolism of the extremities is a pulmonary embolism that can be also fatal. So they must know about that.

Also, I think they should know about the risk of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant treatment, and also that this risk of bleeding can be different in the different type of tumors.

Finally, I think that also they must be told about the once they have, for instance, and episode of venous thromboembolism they have to receive a treatment for that, and these are usually six months to the minimum, and then we'll decide. So they must know what these are the efficacy and the safety profiles of the different drugs. They must know the differences in the route of administration and the other characteristics of the drug. So I think that their shared decision with the patients of the type of treatment must be an integral part of the decision making and is certainly desirable.

Great. It sounds as though there's some important considerations for patients and important conversations which may be prompted by this guideline. So thank you for taking your time to discuss this with me today, Dr. Falanga.

I thank you very much for this interview and talk that our colleagues and also the patients will be happy with these new guidelines of ASCO. Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Episodes
Date
Duration
Recommended episodes :

Episode 2: Living Our Values

ASCO eLearning Podcasts

Episode 1: Beginning the Conversation – Social Determinants of Health and Cancer Care

ASCO eLearning Podcasts

CAR T-cells in Pediatric ALL

ASCO eLearning Podcasts

The podcast ASCO eLearning Podcasts has been added to your home screen.

An interview with Dr. Anna Falanga on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." The guideline revises several previous recommendations. Most notably, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been added as options for VTE prophylaxis and treatment.

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines

Find all of ASCO's podcasts at podcast.asco.org 

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, my name is Clifford Hudis and I am the CEO of ASCO and the host of the ASCO in Action Podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in health care and experts in oncology, and we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. 

 You can find the ASCO in Action Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show, and you can find all 9 of ASCO’s podcasts which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. Anna Falanga from the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Senior author on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Update." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Falanga.

Yes, thank you. I am very happy to talk on the update of the ASCO VTE guidelines.

So this guideline was first published in 2007 with an update in 2013 and a reaffirmation in 2015. So what prompted this 2019 update?

Thanks for this first question. I think that an update was urgently needed at this time. You know, before, the ASCO guidelines were published in 2007. And then an update was made in 2013, and the second one in 2015.

But in 2015 was basically a confirmation of the previous 2013 update. Now the update was urgently needed, because in the very recent years there has been even more evidence of the relevance and impact of a venous thromboembolism in the cancer patients. But in addition, and very importantly, new data from prospective randomized clinical trials with the new drugs for the management of VT in the oncological patients have become available. In particular, as you know, low molecular weight heparins were largely used in the setting of the treatment and trauma prophylaxis in the cancer patients. And actually, the low molecular weight tapering have been the standard of treatment for many years. However, recently the results of prospective randomized clinical trials of direct oral anticoagulant, particularly, the anti-Xa inhibitors, Edoxaban and Rivaroxaban, for cancer associated with [INAUDIBLE] treatment support the role of this new oral agent in the VT management in this setting. And this is related to new politics in the VT management in these patients.

So what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

The main changes to the previous recommendations are first that Rivaroxaban and Edoxiban, the two anti-Xa inhibitors oral anticoagulants have been added as an option for routine treatment in cancer patients in this update. Also, now we may offer thrombo prophylaxis with Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, or low molecular weight tapering to selected high-risk outpatients with cancer. And about other changes of these new guidelines compared to the last one include that patients with brain metastases have been addressed in the VT type treatment sections, whereas before, only patients with the primary tumors were mentioned in the previous edition.

And finally, the recommendation regarding long-term postoperative thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin expanded to patients undergoing a major open or laparoscopic abdominal or pelvic surgery. These are the main changes that all I think are very, very important.

Why is this guideline so important? And how does it affect practice?

Well, I think that the question how these changes affect our practice is a very important question, because I believe that these guidelines reflect the new evidence that we have from the new data. And this data clearly expand our possibility to choose now between the different treatment options in the single patient in the cancer population.

For instance, the new data show that treatment with [INAUDIBLE] anticoagulants compared to low molecular weight heparin lower the risk of a recurrent thrombosis. But in some instances there's a higher risk of bleeding, particularly in the gastrointestinal and urinary tract cancer patients. So therefore it is evident that the patient selection and the individualization of a therapy based on the patient characteristics and the type of cancer-- all these become very important.

And we have the possibility now to choose between different treatments, or in the same patients we can change from one treatment to the other according to the face of the disease or complications if the patient is in a phase that is assuming chemotherapy with many side effects like nausea and vomiting. Of course, in these cases a parenteral injection is preferable for the management of a venous thromboembolism. Whereas in other instances, a long-term and oral intake is surely more convenient. So it depends also from the level of risk. But now for the six months treatment we can offer different choice of the oral treatment and also for high-risk patients the primary prophylaxis with Apixaban Rivaroxoaban, and a low molecular weight tapering can be chosen.

And what should patients be aware of when it comes to VTE risks and treatments?

I think that patients should be educated about the risk of a cancer associated with VTE. You know, there is that evidence that they are educated about it. And they know a lot better about neutropenia, and the fever associated with this the neutropenic condition and the other side effect. But they know very little about the possibility that they can experience venous thromboembolism. 

So I think they should be taught on how to recognize the symptoms and alert their physician. You know, sometimes the symptoms are indistinguishable It can be just a little pain in the calf. And patients must know that these are to be considered important. They must alert their physician to undergo some test-- objective test-- to see if there is a real thrombosis in the leg or not. This is extremely important, because one important consequence of venous thromboembolism of the extremities is a pulmonary embolism that can be also fatal. So they must know about that.

Also, I think they should know about the risk of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant treatment, and also that this risk of bleeding can be different in the different type of tumors.

Finally, I think that also they must be told about the once they have, for instance, and episode of venous thromboembolism they have to receive a treatment for that, and these are usually six months to the minimum, and then we'll decide. So they must know what these are the efficacy and the safety profiles of the different drugs. They must know the differences in the route of administration and the other characteristics of the drug. So I think that their shared decision with the patients of the type of treatment must be an integral part of the decision making and is certainly desirable.

Great. It sounds as though there's some important considerations for patients and important conversations which may be prompted by this guideline. So thank you for taking your time to discuss this with me today, Dr. Falanga.

I thank you very much for this interview and talk that our colleagues and also the patients will be happy with these new guidelines of ASCO. Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Subscribe Install Share
ASCO eLearning Podcasts

Thank you for your subscription

For a better experience, also consider installing the application.

Install