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Michael B. Streiff

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Michael B. Streiff

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication in cancer patients that results in significant morbidity and mortality. Long-term treatment options for cancer patients who experience VTE include vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs), and inferior vena caval (IVC) filters. Cancer patients have a two- to fourfold higher risk for experiencing recurrent VTE and major bleeding during chronic VKA therapy than patients without malignancies. Recent randomized clinical trials have shown that LMWHs rather than oral VKAs are preferred for initial chronic treatment of VTE in patients with advanced cancer. One factor potentially limiting the broader use of LMWH for chronic therapy in the United States is its higher acquisition cost. Efficacy, cost, drug availability, patient comorbidities, and concomitant medications all need to be considered when selecting chronic VTE therapy. Cancer patients with VTE should be treated for as long as their disease is active to minimize the incidence of recurrence. Use of IVC filters should generally be reserved for patients at high risk for recurrent VTE who have contraindications to anticoagulation. Several new anticoagulants are being investigated that promise greater therapeutic choices and potentially better outcomes for cancer patients with VTE.

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Jordan K. Schaefer, Amro Elshoury, Victoria R. Nachar, Michael B. Streiff, and Ming Y. Lim

Venous thromboembolic disease can be a fatal complication of cancer. Despite advances in prevention, thousands of patients require treatment of cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) each year. Guidelines have advocated low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) as the preferred anticoagulant for CAT for years, based on clinical trial data showing LMWH to be associated with a lower risk of recurrent thrombosis when compared with vitamin K antagonists. However, the potentially painful, subcutaneously administered LMWH injections can be expensive, and clinical practice has not been consistent with guideline recommendations. Recently, studies have compared LMWH to the direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for the management of CAT. Based on promising trial results outlined in this review, DOACs are now preferred anticoagulants for CAT occurring in patients without gastric or gastroesophageal lesions. For patients with gastrointestinal cancers, who may be at higher risk of hemorrhage with the DOACs, LMWH remains the anticoagulant of choice. Applying the latest data from this rapidly evolving field to care for diverse patient groups can be challenging. This article provides an evidence-based review of outpatient anticoagulant selection for lower-extremity deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism in the setting of cancer, and takes into account special populations with cancer.

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Amro Elshoury, Jordan K. Schaefer, Ming Y. Lim, Deidre P. Skalla, and Michael B. Streiff

Patients with cancer are at high risk of developing arterial and venous thromboembolism (VTE). They constitute 15% to 20% of the patients diagnosed with VTE. Depending on the type of tumor, cancer therapy, and presence of other risk factors, 1% to 25% of patients with cancer will develop thrombosis. The decision to start patients with cancer on primary thromboprophylaxis depends on patient preference, balancing risk of bleeding versus risk of thrombosis, cost, and adequate organ function. Currently, guidelines recommend against the use of routine primary thromboprophylaxis in unselected ambulatory patients with cancer. Validated risk assessment models can accurately identify patients at highest risk for cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT). This review summarizes the recently updated NCCN Guidelines for CAT primary prophylaxis, with a primarily focus on VTE prevention. Two main clinical questions that providers commonly encounter will also be addressed: which patients with cancer should receive primary thromboprophylaxis (both surgical and medical oncology patients) and how to safely choose between different anticoagulation agents.

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Elizabeth M. Kander, Alison R. Moliterno, Alfred Rademaker, Michael B. Streiff, Jerry L. Spivak, and Brady L. Stein

Polycythemia vera (PV) is an acquired clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorder characterized by an overproduction of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications; and an increased risk of transformation to myelofibrosis and acute leukemia. In 1967, the Polycythemia Vera Study Group proposed the optimal approach to diagnosis and treatment of PV, and in 2002, investigators from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine surveyed the practice patterns of hematologists as they pertained to PV. Since this survey, the JAK2 V617F mutation was discovered, leading to a new era of discovery in the disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, and classification and treatment of PV. Our objective was to survey hematologists in the diagnosis and treatment of PV in the modern, post-JAK2 V617F discovery era. An anonymous 17-question survey was emailed to members of the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Research Foundation database and Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation. A total of 71 surveys were used in the analysis. Diagnostic testing varied according to the respondent's clinical experience and practice type. In addition, there were marked differences in target hematocrit and platelet count among those surveyed. There continue to be variations in diagnosis and treatment of PV despite WHO guidelines and the JAK2 discovery. US-based guidelines for MPNs are needed to create consistency in the management of PV and other MPNs.

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Muhamed Baljevic, Douglas W. Sborov, Ming Y. Lim, Jens Hillengass, Thomas Martin, Jorge J. Castillo, Michael B. Streiff, Shaji K. Kumar, and Natalie S. Callander

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major complication in all patients with cancer. Compared with the general population, patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have a 9-fold increase in VTE risk, likely because of their malignancy, its treatments, and other additional patient-related factors. In MM, thromboembolism events tend to occur within 6 months of treatment initiation, regardless of treatment regimen; however, the use of immunomodulatory agents such as thalidomide or lenalidomide, especially in combination with dexamethasone or multiagent chemotherapy, is known to create a significant risk for VTE. Currently, official recommendations for VTE prophylaxis in MM outlined in various national guidelines or multidisciplinary society panels are based on expert opinion, because data from randomized controlled trials are scarce. Large studies which have mainly focused on the efficacy of thromboprophylaxis in patients with cancer at higher risk for VTE either had a very low representation of patients with MM, or excluded them all together, limiting our ability to draw evidence-based conclusions on how to effectively protect MM population from VTE. In this brief perspective, we highlight some of the greatest challenges that have hampered the field concerning the availability of high-quality clinical trial data for the formulation of best VTE prophylaxis strategies in patients with newly diagnosed MM, as well as the rationale for the latest updates in the NCCN Guidelines on this topic.

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Michael B. Streiff, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Spero R. Cataland, Carolyn Chesney, Charles Eby, John Fanikos, Annemarie E. Fogerty, Shuwei Gao, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Hani Hassoun, Paul Hendrie, Bjorn Holmstrom, Nicole Kuderer, Jason T. Lee, Michael M. Millenson, Anne T. Neff, Thomas L. Ortel, Tanya Siddiqi, Judy L. Smith, Gary C. Yee, Anaadriana Zakarija, Nicole McMillian, and Maoko Naganuma

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a common and life-threatening complication among patients with cancer. Thromboprophylaxis can be used to prevent the occurrence of VTE in patients with cancer who are considered at high risk for developing this complication. Therefore, it is critical to recognize the various risk factors for VTE in patients with cancer. Risk assessment tools are available to help identify patients for whom discussions regarding the potential benefits and risks of thromboprophylaxis would be appropriate. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for VTE provide recommendations on risk evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of VTE in patients with cancer.

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Michael B. Streiff, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Spero R. Cataland, Carolyn Chesney, Charles Eby, John Fanikos, Patrick F. Fogarty, Shuwei Gao, Julio Garcia-Aguilar, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Hani Hassoun, Paul Hendrie, Bjorn Holmstrom, Kimberly A. Jones, Nicole Kuderer, Jason T. Lee, Michael M. Millenson, Anne T. Neff, Thomas L. Ortel, Judy L. Smith, Gary C. Yee, and Anaadriana Zakarija

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Michael B. Streiff, Bjorn Holmstrom, Aneel Ashrani, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Carolyn Chesney, Charles Eby, John Fanikos, Randolph B. Fenninger, Annemarie E. Fogerty, Shuwei Gao, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Paul Hendrie, Nicole Kuderer, Alfred Lee, Jason T. Lee, Mirjana Lovrincevic, Michael M. Millenson, Anne T. Neff, Thomas L. Ortel, Rita Paschal, Sanford Shattil, Tanya Siddiqi, Kristi J. Smock, Gerald Soff, Tzu-Fei Wang, Gary C. Yee, Anaadriana Zakarija, Nicole McMillian, and Anita M. Engh

The NCCN Guidelines for Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolic Disease outline strategies for treatment and prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients with a diagnosis of cancer or for whom cancer is clinically suspected. VTE is a common complication in patients with cancer, which places them at greater risk for morbidity and mortality. Therefore, risk-appropriate prophylaxis is an essential component for the optimal care of inpatients and outpatients with cancer. Critical to meeting this goal is ensuring that patients get the most effective medication in the correct dose. Body weight has a significant impact on blood volume and drug clearance. Because obesity is a common health problem in industrialized societies, cancer care providers are increasingly likely to treat obese patients in their practice. Obesity is a risk factor common to VTE and many cancers, and may also impact the anticoagulant dose needed for safe and effective prophylaxis. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the data supporting new dosing recommendations for VTE prophylaxis in obese patients with cancer.

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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.