BACKGROUND Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. While newer data on use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in treating cancer associated thrombosis (CAT) is promising; its data is still few and inconsistent across literature. We designed the study to assess if rivaroxaban would be an appealing alternate choice to treat CAT.
METHODS We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of rivaroxaban versus enoxaparin in cancer patients after developing a symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). Baseline patient characteristics and laboratory values were assessed in each arm. Primary efficacy outcome was measured by radiographically confirmed VTE recurrence at different intervals. Primary safety outcome was measured by presence of major and minor bleeding using the ISTH scale.
RESULTS Our study recruited 150 cancer patients with radiologically confirmed DVT and PE; 80 patients were evaluated in enoxaparin arm and 70 patients in rivaroxaban arm. Our results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the incidence of VTE recurrence at 6 months between the enoxaparin and rivaroxaban arm (10% vs 14.2%, p=0.42). Historically significant risk factors for VTE in cancer patients such as high platelet count, high leukocyte count, low hemoglobin level, high risk gastrointestinal, genitourinary and lung cancers were not found to be independently significantly associated with the risk of VTE recurrence. Primary safety outcome analysis also showed no statistically significant difference in major (11.2% vs 11.4%) and minor (15% vs 10%) bleeding between enoxaparin versus rivaroxaban arm respectively (p=0.65).
CONCLUSION We conclude that there was no significant difference seen between the efficacy and safety profile of enoxaparin and rivaroxaban in our cancer patient population.