Direct oral anticoagulant for the prevention of thrombosis in ambulatory patients with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ang Li, Nicole M. Kuderer, David A. Garcia, Alok A. Khorana, Philip S. Wells, Marc Carrier, Gary H. Lyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: It is unclear if direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) is efficacious and safe for prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in ambulatory patients with cancer. Methods: We performed a systematic review using EMBASE, MEDLINE, and CENTRAL. Inclusion criteria included adult ambulatory patients with cancer, prophylactic use of DOAC, and randomized controlled trials. Exclusion criteria included pediatric patients, inpatient or postoperative setting, therapeutic indication of DOAC, or non-phase III randomized controlled trial. Two authors screened/reviewed articles and abstracted the data. Meta-analysis was performed using random-effects model. Efficacy outcome included overall and symptomatic VTE incidence during the first 6 months. Safety outcomes included major bleeding and clinically relevant non-major bleeding (CRNMB) incidence during the on-treatment period. Subgroup analysis was performed for intermediate- and high-risk Khorana score. Results: A total of 202 records were identified and 28 full-text articles were assessed. Two studies with 1415 participants were included for meta-analysis. For DOAC vs placebo, the relative risks for overall and symptomatic VTE incidence by 6 months were 0.56 (0.35-0.89) and 0.58 (0.29-1.13), respectively. The relative risks for major bleeding and CRNMB while on-treatment were 1.96 (0.80-4.82) and 1.28 (0.74-2.20), respectively. Patients with high-risk Khorana score (3+) derived the largest absolute risk reduction of VTE. Conclusions: Low-dose DOAC reduces the rate of overall VTE in higher risk cancer patients starting systemic chemotherapy. It may reduce the rate of symptomatic VTE but increase the likelihood of bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2151
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • apixaban
  • factor Xa inhibitors
  • neoplasm
  • rivaroxaban
  • venous thromboembolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct oral anticoagulant for the prevention of thrombosis in ambulatory patients with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this