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Gerald A. Soff

For patients with cancer who experience venous thromboembolism (VTE), low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) remains the standard of care in the NCCN Guidelines for VTE, but under certain conditions direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are acceptable alternatives. A growing body of literature suggests that DOACs may more effective than LMWHs in preventing recurrences, but they do carry some increased risk of bleeding. Most of this risk is seen in patients with gastrointestinal or urinary pathology or implanted devices. DOACs are also acceptable when the pain, cost, and inconvenience of LMWHs are expected to be obstacles to compliance. Through careful patient selection, most patients can be treated successfully with a DOAC, although for most patients with gastrointestinal or urinary pathology, LMWH remains the safer choice.

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George M. Rodgers III, Pamela Sue Becker, Morey Blinder, David Cella, Asher Chanan-Khan, Charles Cleeland, Peter F. Coccia, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Jeffrey A. Gilreath, Eric H. Kraut, Ursula A. Matulonis, Michael M. Millenson, Denise Reinke, Joseph Rosenthal, Rowena N. Schwartz, Gerald Soff, Richard S. Stein, Gordana Vlahovic and Alva B. Weir III

Anemia is prevalent in 30% to 90% of patients with cancer. Anemia can be corrected through either treating the underlying cause or providing supportive care through transfusion with packed red blood cells or administration of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), with or without iron supplementation. Recent studies showing detrimental health effects of ESAs sparked a series of FDA label revisions and a sea change in the perception of these once commonly used agents. In light of this, the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia underwent substantial revisions this year. The purpose of these NCCN Guidelines is twofold: 1) to operationalize the evaluation and treatment of anemia in adult cancer patients, with an emphasis on those who are receiving concomitant chemotherapy, and 2) to enable patients and clinicians to individualize anemia treatment options based on patient condition.

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Michael B. Streiff, Bjorn Holmstrom, Dana Angelini, Aneel Ashrani, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Carolyn Chesney, John Fanikos, Randolph B. Fenninger, Annemarie E. Fogerty, Shuwei Gao, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Krishna Gundabolu, Paul Hendrie, Alfred I. Lee, Jason T. Lee, Janelle Mann, Brandon McMahon, Michael M. Millenson, Colleen Morton, Thomas L. Ortel, Sadat Ozair, Rita Paschal, Sanford Shattil, Tanya Siddiqi, Kristi J. Smock, Gerald Soff, Tzu-Fei Wang, Eliot Williams, Anaadriana Zakarija, Lydia Hammond, Mary A. Dwyer and Anita M. Engh

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common in patients with cancer and increases morbidity and mortality. VTE prevention and treatment are more complex in patients with cancer. The NCCN Guidelines for Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolic Disease outline strategies for treatment and prevention of VTE in adult patients diagnosed with cancer or in whom cancer is clinically suspected. These NCCN Guidelines Insights explain recent changes in anticoagulants recommended for the treatment of cancer-associated VTE.