Publications by authors named "Charbel F Matar"

12 Publications

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Oral anticoagulation in people with cancer who have no therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 10 8;10:CD006466. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Oral anticoagulants may improve the survival of people with cancer through an antithrombotic effect, yet increase the risk of bleeding.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants in ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy (either alone or in combination), with no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Search Methods: We conducted comprehensive searches on 14 June 2021, following the original electronic searches performed in February 2016 (last major search). We electronically searched the following databases: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase. In addition, we handsearched conference proceedings, checked references of included studies, and searched for ongoing studies. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running continual searches and will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in ambulatory people with cancer (i.e., not hospital inpatients during the time of their participation in trials) These people are typically undergoing systemic anticancer therapy, possibly including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardised form, two review authors independently extracted data on study design, participants, intervention outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, pulmonary embolism, symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), major bleeding, minor bleeding and health-related quality of life. We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach.

Main Results: Of 12,620 identified citations, 10 RCTs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The oral anticoagulant was a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) in six of these RCTs, and a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) in the remaining four RCTs (three studies used apixaban; one used rivaroxaban). The comparator was either placebo or no prophylaxis. Compared to no prophylaxis, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) probably reduce mortality at six months slightly (risk ratio (RR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77 to 1.13; risk difference (RD) 22 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 72 fewer to 41 more; moderate-certainty evidence), and probably reduce mortality at 12 months slightly (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.03; RD 29 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 75 fewer to 17 more; moderate-certainty evidence). One study assessed the effect of a VKA compared to no prophylaxis on thrombosis; the evidence was very uncertain about the effect of VKA compared to no VKA on pulmonary embolism and symptomatic DVT (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.07 to 16.58; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 6 fewer to 98 more; very low-certainty evidence; RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.42; RD 35 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 37 fewer to 16 more; very low-certainty evidence, respectively). Also, VKAs probably increase major and minor bleeding at 12 months (RR 2.93, 95% CI 1.86 to 4.62; RD 107 more per 1000, 95% CI 48 more to 201 more; moderate-certainty evidence for major bleeding, and RR 3.14, 95% CI 1.85 to 5.32; RD 167 more per 1000, 95% CI 66 more to 337 more; moderate-certainty evidence for minor bleeding). Compared to no prophylaxis, at three to six months, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) probably reduce mortality slightly (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.38, RD 11 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 67 fewer to 70 more; moderate-certainty evidence), probably reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism slightly compared to no prophylaxis (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.98; RD 24 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 35 fewer to 1 fewer; moderate-certainty evidence), probably reduce symptomatic DVT slightly (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.30 to 1.15; RD 21 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 35 fewer to 8 more; moderate-certainty evidence), probably do not increase major bleeding (RR 1.65, 95% CI 0.72 to 3.80; RD 9 more per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 40 more; moderate-certainty evidence), and may increase minor bleeding (RR 3.58, 95% CI 0.55 to 23.44; RD 55 more per 1000, 95% CI 10 fewer to 482 more; low-certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: In ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy (either alone or in combination), the current evidence on VKA thromboprophylaxis suggests that the harm of major bleeding might outweigh the benefit of reduction in venous thromboembolism. With DOACs, the benefit of reduction in venous thromboembolic events outweighs the risk of major bleeding. Editorial note: this is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence, as it becomes available. Please refer to the 'What's new' section in the  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD006466.pub7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8498286PMC
October 2021

Antithrombotic therapy for ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 09 28;9:CD014739. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Multiple myeloma is a malignant plasma cell disorder characterised by clonal plasma cells that cause end-organ damage such as renal failure, lytic bone lesions, hypercalcaemia and/or anaemia. People with multiple myeloma are treated with immunomodulatory agents including lenalidomide, pomalidomide, and thalidomide. Multiple myeloma is associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, which appears to be further increased in people receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Objectives: (1) To systematically review the evidence for the relative efficacy and safety of aspirin, oral anticoagulants, or parenteral anticoagulants in ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents who otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation. (2) To maintain this review as a living systematic review by continually running the searches and incorporating newly identified studies.

Search Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search that included (1) a major electronic search (14 June 2021) of the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE via Ovid, and Embase via Ovid; (2) hand-searching of conference proceedings; (3) checking of reference lists of included studies; and (4) a search for ongoing studies in trial registries. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running continual searches, and we will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified.

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of oral anticoagulants such as vitamin K antagonist (VKA) and direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), anti-platelet agents such as aspirin (ASA), and parenteral anticoagulants such as low molecular weight heparin (LMWH)in ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardised form, we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, interventions, outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), major bleeding, and minor bleeding. For each outcome we calculated the risk ratio (RR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) and the risk difference (RD) with its 95% CI. We then assessed the certainty of evidence at the outcome level following the GRADE approach (GRADE Handbook).

Main Results: We identified 1015 identified citations and included 11 articles reporting four RCTs that enrolled 1042 participants. The included studies made the following comparisons: ASA versus VKA (one study); ASA versus LMWH (two studies); VKA versus LMWH (one study); and ASA versus DOAC (two studies, one of which was an abstract). ASA versus VKA One RCT compared ASA to VKA at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to VKA on all-cause mortality (RR 3.00, 95% CI 0.12 to 73.24; RD 2 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 72 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.33; RD 27 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 48 fewer to 21 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.25 to 3.95; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 14 fewer to 54 more; very low-certainty evidence); major bleeding (RR 7.00, 95% CI 0.36 to 134.72; RD 6 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 134 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 6.00, 95% CI 0.73 to 49.43; RD 23 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 220 more; very low-certainty evidence). One RCT compared ASA to VKA at two years follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to VKA on all-cause mortality (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.05 to 5.47; RD 5 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 9 fewer to 41 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.44; RD 22 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 50 fewer to 34 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.25 to 3.95; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 14 fewer to 54 more; very low-certainty evidence). ASA versus LMWH Two RCTs compared ASA to LMWH at six months follow-up. The pooled data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.81; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 2 fewer to 38 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.23, 95% CI 0.49 to 3.08; RD 5 more per 1000, 95% CI 11 fewer to 43 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 7.71, 95% CI 0.97 to 61.44; RD 7 more per 1000, 95% CI 0 fewer to 60 more; very low-certainty evidence); major bleeding (RR 6.97, 95% CI 0.36 to 134.11; RD 6 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 133 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 1.42, 95% CI 0.35 to 5.78; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 7 fewer to 50 more; very low-certainty evidence). One RCT compared ASA to LMWH at two years follow-up. The pooled data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.89; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 68 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.72; RD 9 more per 1000, 95% CI 21 fewer to 78 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 9.00, 95% CI 0.49 to 166.17; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 165 more; very low-certainty evidence). VKA versus LMWH One RCT compared VKA to LMWH at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of VKA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 8.10; RD 3 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 5 fewer to 32 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 2.32, 95% CI 0.91 to 5.93; RD 36 more per 1000, 95% CI 2 fewer to 135 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 8.96, 95% CI 0.49 to 165.42; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 164 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.03 to 3.17; RD 9 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 13 fewer to 30 more; very low-certainty evidence). The study reported that no major bleeding occurred in either arm. One RCT compared VKA to LMWH at two years follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of VKA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.18 to 21.90; RD 5 more per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 95 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.80 to 3.63; RD 32 more per 1000, 95% CI 9 fewer to 120 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 9.00, 95% CI 0.49 to 166.17; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 165 more; very low-certainty evidence). ASA versus DOAC One RCT compared ASA to DOAC at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to DOAC on DVT, PE, and major bleeding and minor bleeding (minor bleeding: RR 5.00, 95% CI 0.31 to 79.94; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 79 more; very low-certainty evidence). The study reported that no DVT, PE, or major bleeding events occurred in either arm. These results did not change in a meta-analysis including the study published as an abstract.

Authors' Conclusions: The certainty of the available evidence for the comparative effects of ASA, VKA, LMWH, and DOAC on all-cause mortality, DVT, PE, or bleeding was either low or very low. People with multiple myeloma considering antithrombotic agents should balance the possible benefits of reduced thromboembolic complications with the possible harms and burden of anticoagulants. Editorial note: This is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence as it becomes available. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD014739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477647PMC
September 2021

Recommendations for pregnancy in Fanconi anemia.

Expert Opin Biol Ther 2021 Nov 12;21(11):1403-1409. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare congenital disease that belongs to the family of congenital trilinear bone marrow failure. Most FA patients will suffer bone marrow failure and the main treatment relies on supportive measures or more recently on the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The improvements seen in the management of FA has led women to reach childbearing age and have successful pregnancies. However, these pregnancies are associated with increased complications such as preterm delivery, cesarean delivery, eclampsia and others.: This review highlights on the outcome of pregnancies in FA patients reported in the literature along with practical recommendations.: Multidisciplinary efforts are required to optimize the management of pregnancy in FA patients. Moreover, the development of a set of recommendations to optimize the treatment is highly necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14712598.2021.1913119DOI Listing
November 2021

Prophylactic anticoagulants for people hospitalised with COVID-19.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020 10 2;10:CD013739. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a serious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The primary manifestation is respiratory insufficiency that can also be related to diffuse pulmonary microthrombosis in people with COVID-19. This disease also causes thromboembolic events, such as pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, catheter thrombosis, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. Recent studies have indicated a worse prognosis for people with COVID-19 who developed thromboembolism. Anticoagulants are medications used in the prevention and treatment of venous or arterial thromboembolic events. Several drugs are used in the prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolic events, such as heparinoids (heparins or pentasaccharides), vitamin K antagonists and direct anticoagulants. Besides their anticoagulant properties, heparinoids have an additional anti-inflammatory potential, that may affect the clinical evolution of people with COVID-19. Some practical guidelines address the use of anticoagulants for thromboprophylaxis in people with COVID-19, however, the benefit of anticoagulants for people with COVID-19 is still under debate.

Objectives: To assess the effects of prophylactic anticoagulants versus active comparator, placebo or no intervention, on mortality and the need for respiratory support in people hospitalised with COVID-19.

Search Methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS and IBECS databases, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and medRxiv preprint database from their inception to 20 June 2020. We also checked reference lists of any relevant systematic reviews identified and contacted specialists in the field for additional references to trials.

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cluster-RCTs and cohort studies that compared prophylactic anticoagulants (heparin, vitamin K antagonists, direct anticoagulants, and pentasaccharides) versus active comparator, placebo or no intervention for the management of people hospitalised with COVID-19. We excluded studies without a comparator group. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality and need for additional respiratory support. Secondary outcomes were mortality related to COVID-19, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, major bleeding, adverse events, length of hospital stay and quality of life.

Data Collection And Analysis: We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. We used ROBINS-I to assess risk of bias for non-randomised studies (NRS) and GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence. We reported results narratively.

Main Results: We identified no RCTs or quasi-RCTs that met the inclusion criteria. We included seven retrospective NRS (5929 participants), three of which were available as preprints. Studies were conducted in China, Italy, Spain and the USA. All of the studies included people hospitalised with COVID-19, in either intensive care units, hospital wards or emergency departments. The mean age of participants (reported in 6 studies) ranged from 59 to 72 years. Only three included studies reported the follow-up period, which varied from 8 to 35 days. The studies did not report on most of our outcomes of interest: need for additional respiratory support, mortality related to COVID-19, DVT, pulmonary embolism, adverse events, and quality of life. Anticoagulants (all types) versus no treatment (6 retrospective NRS, 5685 participants) One study reported a reduction in all-cause mortality (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26 to 0.66; 2075 participants). One study reported a reduction in mortality only in a subgroup of 395 people who required mechanical ventilation (hazard ratio (HR) 0.86, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.89). Three studies reported no differences in mortality (adjusted OR 1.64, 95% CI 0.92 to 2.92; 449 participants; unadjusted OR 1.66, 95% CI 0.76 to 3.64; 154 participants and adjusted risk ratio (RR) 1.15, 95% CI 0.29 to 2.57; 192 participants). One study reported zero events in both intervention groups (42 participants). The overall risk of bias for all-cause mortality was critical and the certainty of the evidence was very low. One NRS reported bleeding events in 3% of the intervention group and 1.9% of the control group (OR 1.62, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.71; 2773 participants; low-certainty evidence). Therapeutic-dose anticoagulants versus prophylactic-dose anticoagulants (1 retrospective NRS, 244 participants) The study reported a reduction in all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 0.21, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.46) and a lower absolute rate of death in the therapeutic group (34.2% versus 53%). The overall risk of bias for all-cause mortality was serious and the certainty of the evidence was low. The study also reported bleeding events in 31.7% of the intervention group and 20.5% of the control group (OR 1.8, 95% CI 0.96 to 3.37; low-certainty evidence). Ongoing studies We found 22 ongoing studies in hospital settings (20 RCTs, 14,730 participants; 2 NRS, 997 participants) in 10 different countries (Australia (1), Brazil (1), Canada (2), China (3), France (2), Germany (1), Italy (4), Switzerland (1), UK (1) and USA (6)). Twelve ongoing studies plan to report mortality and six plan to report additional respiratory support. Thirteen studies are expected to be completed in December 2020 (6959 participants), eight in July 2021 (8512 participants), and one in December 2021 (256 participants). Four of the studies plan to include 1000 participants or more.

Authors' Conclusions: There is currently insufficient evidence to determine the risks and benefits of prophylactic anticoagulants for people hospitalised with COVID-19. Since there are 22 ongoing studies that plan to evaluate more than 15,000 participants in this setting, we will add more robust evidence to this review in future updates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166900PMC
October 2020

Recommendations for Pregnancy in Rare Inherited Anemias.

Hemasphere 2020 Aug 12;4(4):e446. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

United Onlus - Federazione Italiana delle Thalassemie, Emoglobinopatie Rare e Drepanocitosi, Ferrara, Italy.

Rare inherited anemias are a subset of anemias caused by a genetic defect along one of the several stages of erythropoiesis or in different cellular components that affect red blood cell integrity, and thus its lifespan. Due to their low prevalence, several complications on growth and development, and multi-organ system damage are not yet well defined. Moreover, during the last decade there has been a lack of proper understanding of the impact of rare anemias on maternal and fetal outcomes. In addition, there are no clear-cut guidelines outlining the pathophysiological trends and management options unique to this special population. Here, we present on behalf of the European Hematology Association, evidence- and consensus-based guidelines, established by an international group of experts in different fields, including hematologists, gynecologists, general practitioners, medical geneticists, and experts in rare inherited anemias from various European countries for standardized and appropriate choice of therapeutic interventions for the management of pregnancy in rare inherited anemias, including Diamond-Blackfan Anemia, Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemias, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease, Enzyme deficiency and Red cell membrane disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7437563PMC
August 2020

Hepatocellular Carcinoma in β-Thalassemia Patients: Review of the Literature with Molecular Insight into Liver Carcinogenesis.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Dec 17;19(12). Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut 11-0236, Lebanon.

With the continuing progress in managing patients with thalassemia, especially in the setting of iron overload and iron chelation, the life span of these patients is increasing, while concomitantly increasing incidences of many diseases that were less likely to show when survival was rather limited. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major life-threatening cancer that is becoming more frequently identified in this population of patients. The two established risk factors for the development of HCC in thalassemia include iron overload and viral hepatitis with or without cirrhosis. Increased iron burden is becoming a major HCC risk factor in this patient population, especially in those in the older age group. As such, screening thalassemia patients using liver iron concentration (LIC) measurement by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and liver ultrasound is strongly recommended for the early detection of iron overload and for implementation of early iron chelation in an attempt to prevent organ-damaging iron overload and possibly HCC. There remain lacking data on HCC treatment outcomes in patients who have thalassemia. However, a personalized approach tailored to each patient's comorbidities is essential to treatment success. Multicenter studies investigating the long-term outcomes of currently available therapeutic options in the thalassemia realm, in addition to novel HCC therapeutic targets, are needed to further improve the prognosis of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19124070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6321074PMC
December 2018

Anticoagulation for perioperative thromboprophylaxis in people with cancer.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 07 11;7:CD009447. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon, 1107 2020.

Background: The choice of the appropriate perioperative thromboprophylaxis for people with cancer depends on the relative benefits and harms of different anticoagulants.

Objectives: To systematically review the evidence for the relative efficacy and safety of anticoagulants for perioperative thromboprophylaxis in people with cancer.

Search Methods: This update of the systematic review was based on the findings of a comprehensive literature search conducted on 14 June 2018 that included a major electronic search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, 2018, Issue 6), MEDLINE (Ovid), and Embase (Ovid); handsearching of conference proceedings; checking of references of included studies; searching for ongoing studies; and using the 'related citation' feature in PubMed.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that enrolled people with cancer undergoing a surgical intervention and assessed the effects of low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) to unfractionated heparin (UFH) or to fondaparinux on mortality, deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), bleeding outcomes, and thrombocytopenia.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardized form, we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, interventions outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, PE, symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), asymptomatic DVT, major bleeding, minor bleeding, postphlebitic syndrome, health related quality of life, and thrombocytopenia. We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach (GRADE Handbook).

Main Results: Of 7670 identified unique citations, we included 20 RCTs with 9771 randomized people with cancer receiving preoperative prophylactic anticoagulation. We identified seven reports for seven new RCTs for this update.The meta-analyses did not conclusively rule out either a beneficial or harmful effect of LMWH compared with UFH for the following outcomes: mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63 to 1.07; risk difference (RD) 9 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 19 fewer to 4 more; moderate-certainty evidence), PE (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.17 to 1.47; RD 3 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 5 fewer to 3 more; moderate-certainty evidence), symptomatic DVT (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.69; RD 3 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 7 fewer to 7 more; moderate-certainty evidence), asymptomatic DVT (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.05; RD 11 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 23 fewer to 4 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.48; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 10 fewer to 15 more; moderate-certainty evidence), minor bleeding (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.33; RD 1 more per 1000, 95% CI 34 fewer to 47 more; moderate-certainty evidence), reoperation for bleeding (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.50; RD 4 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 22 fewer to 26 more; moderate-certainty evidence), intraoperative transfusion (mean difference (MD) -35.36 mL, 95% CI -253.19 to 182.47; low-certainty evidence), postoperative transfusion (MD 190.03 mL, 95% CI -23.65 to 403.72; low-certainty evidence), and thrombocytopenia (RR 3.07, 95% CI 0.32 to 29.33; RD 6 more per 1000, 95% CI 2 fewer to 82 more; moderate-certainty evidence). LMWH was associated with lower incidence of wound hematoma (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.92; RD 26 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 39 fewer to 7 fewer; moderate-certainty evidence). The meta-analyses found the following additional results: outcomes intraoperative blood loss (MD -6.75 mL, 95% CI -85.49 to 71.99; moderate-certainty evidence); and postoperative drain volume (MD 30.18 mL, 95% CI -36.26 to 96.62; moderate-certainty evidence).In addition, the meta-analyses did not conclusively rule out either a beneficial or harmful effect of LMWH compared with Fondaparinux for the following outcomes: any VTE (DVT or PE, or both; RR 2.51, 95% CI 0.89 to 7.03; RD 57 more per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 228 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.23; RD 8 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 16 fewer to 7 more; low-certainty evidence), minor bleeding (RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.34 to 2.05; RD 8fewer per 1000, 95% CI 33 fewer to 52 more; low-certainty evidence), thrombocytopenia (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.04 to 3.30; RD 14 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 20 fewer to 48 more; low-certainty evidence), any PE (RR 3.13, 95% CI 0.13 to 74.64; RD 2 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 78 more; low-certainty evidence) and postoperative drain volume (MD -20.00 mL, 95% CI -114.34 to 74.34; low-certainty evidence) AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found no difference between perioperative thromboprophylaxis with LMWH versus UFH and LMWH compared with fondaparinux in their effects on mortality, thromboembolic outcomes, major bleeding, or minor bleeding in people with cancer. There was a lower incidence of wound hematoma with LMWH compared to UFH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD009447.pub3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389341PMC
July 2018

Anticoagulation for the long-term treatment of venous thromboembolism in people with cancer.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 06 19;6:CD006650. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Cancer increases the risk of thromboembolic events, especially in people receiving anticoagulation treatments.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs), direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for the long-term treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in people with cancer.

Search Methods: We conducted a literature search including a major electronic search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE (Ovid), and Embase (Ovid); handsearching conference proceedings; checking references of included studies; use of the 'related citation' feature in PubMed and a search for ongoing studies in trial registries. As part of the living systematic review approach, we run searches continually, incorporating new evidence after it is identified. Last search date 14 May 2018.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of long-term treatment with LMWHs, DOACs or VKAs in people with cancer and symptomatic VTE.

Data Collection And Analysis: We extracted data in duplicate on study characteristics and risk of bias. Outcomes included: all-cause mortality, recurrent VTE, major bleeding, minor bleeding, thrombocytopenia, and health-related quality of life (QoL). We assessed the certainty of the evidence at the outcome level following the GRADE approach (GRADE handbook).

Main Results: Of 15,785 citations, including 7602 unique citations, 16 RCTs fulfilled the eligibility criteria. These trials enrolled 5167 people with cancer and VTE.Low molecular weight heparins versus vitamin K antagonistsEight studies enrolling 2327 participants compared LMWHs with VKAs. Meta-analysis of five studies probably did not rule out a beneficial or harmful effect of LMWHs compared to VKAs on mortality up to 12 months of follow-up (risk ratio (RR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88 to 1.13; risk difference (RD) 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 45 fewer to 48 more; moderate-certainty evidence). Meta-analysis of four studies did not rule out a beneficial or harmful effect of LMWHs compared to VKAs on major bleeding (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.55 to 2.12; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 19 fewer to 48 more, moderate-certainty evidence) or minor bleeding (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.27; RD 38 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 92 fewer to 47 more; low-certainty evidence), or thrombocytopenia (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.69). Meta-analysis of five studies showed that LMWHs probably reduced the recurrence of VTE compared to VKAs (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.77; RD 53 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 29 fewer to 72 fewer, moderate-certainty evidence).Direct oral anticoagulants versus vitamin K antagonistsFive studies enrolling 982 participants compared DOACs with VKAs. Meta-analysis of four studies may not rule out a beneficial or harmful effect of DOACs compared to VKAs on mortality (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.21; RD 12 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 51 fewer to 37 more; low-certainty evidence), recurrent VTE (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.33 to 1.31; RD 14 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 27 fewer to 12 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.57, RD 8 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 22 fewer to 20 more; low-certainty evidence), or minor bleeding (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.22; RD 21 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 54 fewer to 28 more; low-certainty evidence). One study reporting on DOAC versus VKA was published as abstract so is not included in the main analysis.Direct oral anticoagulants versus low molecular weight heparinsTwo studies enrolling 1455 participants compared DOAC with LMWH. The study by Raskob did not rule out a beneficial or harmful effect of DOACs compared to LMWH on mortality up to 12 months of follow-up (RR 1.07, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.25; RD 27 more per 1000, 95% CI 30 fewer to 95 more; low-certainty evidence). The data also showed that DOACs may have shown a likely reduction in VTE recurrence up to 12 months of follow-up compared to LMWH (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.01; RD 36 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 62 fewer to 1 more; low-certainty evidence). DOAC may have increased major bleeding at 12 months of follow-up compared to LMWH (RR 1.71, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.88; RD 29 more per 1000, 95% CI 0 fewer to 78 more; low-certainty evidence) and likely increased minor bleeding up to 12 months of follow-up compared to LMWH (RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.80; RD 35 more per 1000, 95% CI 6 fewer to 92 more; low-certainty evidence). The second study on DOAC versus LMWH was published as an abstract and is not included in the main analysis.Idraparinux versus vitamin K antagonistsOne RCT with 284 participants compared once-weekly subcutaneous injection of idraparinux versus standard treatment (parenteral anticoagulation followed by warfarin or acenocoumarol) for three or six months. The data probably did not rule out a beneficial or harmful effect of idraparinux compared to VKAs on mortality at six months (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.59; RD 31 more per 1000, 95% CI 62 fewer to 167 more; moderate-certainty evidence), VTE recurrence at six months (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.32; RD 42 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 65 fewer to 25 more; low-certainty evidence) or major bleeding (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.35 to 3.56; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 25 fewer to 98 more; low-certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: For the long-term treatment of VTE in people with cancer, evidence shows that LMWHs compared to VKAs probably produces an important reduction in VTE and DOACs compared to LMWH, may likely reduce VTE but may increase risk of major bleeding. Decisions for a person with cancer and VTE to start long-term LMWHs versus oral anticoagulation should balance benefits and harms and integrate the person's values and preferences for the important outcomes and alternative management strategies.Editorial note: this is a living systematic review (LSR). LSRs offer new approaches to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence as it becomes available. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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June 2018

Anticoagulation for people with cancer and central venous catheters.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 06 1;6:CD006468. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Central venous catheter (CVC) placement increases the risk of thrombosis in people with cancer. Thrombosis often necessitates the removal of the CVC, resulting in treatment delays and thrombosis-related morbidity and mortality. This is an update of the Cochrane Review published in 2014.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in people with cancer with a CVC.

Search Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search in May 2018 that included a major electronic search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (Ovid), and Embase (Ovid); handsearching of conference proceedings; checking of references of included studies; searching for ongoing studies; and using the 'related citation' feature in PubMed. This update of the systematic review was based on the findings of a literature search conducted on 14 May 2018.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), vitamin K antagonists (VKA), or fondaparinux or comparing the effects of two of these anticoagulants in people with cancer and a CVC.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardized form, we extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Outcomes included all-cause mortality, symptomatic catheter-related venous thromboembolism (VTE), pulmonary embolism (PE), major bleeding, minor bleeding, catheter-related infection, thrombocytopenia, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach (Balshem 2011).

Main Results: Thirteen RCTs (23 papers) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. These trials enrolled 3420 participants. Seven RCTs compared LMWH to no LMWH (six in adults and one in children), six RCTs compared VKA to no VKA (five in adults and one in children), and three RCTs compared LMWH to VKA in adults.LMWH versus no LMWHSix RCTs (1537 participants) compared LMWH to no LMWH in adults. The meta-analyses showed that LMWH probably decreased the incidence of symptomatic catheter-related VTE up to three months of follow-up compared to no LMWH (risk ratio (RR) 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22 to 0.81; risk difference (RD) 38 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 13 fewer to 52 fewer; moderate-certainty evidence). However, the analysis did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of LMWH on mortality at three months of follow-up (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.26; RD 14 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 36 fewer to 20 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 1.49, 95% CI 0.06 to 36.28; RD 0 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 35 more; very low-certainty evidence), minor bleeding (RR 1.35, 95% CI 0.62 to 2.92; RD 14 more per 1000, 95% CI 16 fewer to 79 more; low-certainty evidence), and thrombocytopenia (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.33; RD 5 more per 1000, 95% CI 35 fewer to 58 more; low-certainty evidence).VKA versus no VKAFive RCTs (1599 participants) compared low-dose VKA to no VKA in adults. The meta-analyses did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of low-dose VKA compared to no VKA on mortality (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.55; RD 1 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 34 fewer to 52 more; low-certainty evidence), symptomatic catheter-related VTE (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.64; RD 31 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 62 fewer to 51 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 7.14, 95% CI 0.88 to 57.78; RD 12 more per 1000, 95% CI 0 fewer to 110 more; low-certainty evidence), minor bleeding (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.26; RD 15 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 30 fewer to 13 more; low-certainty evidence), premature catheter removal (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.24; RD 29 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 114 fewer to 202 more; low-certainty evidence), and catheter-related infection (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.85; RD 71 more per 1000, 95% CI 109 fewer to 356; low-certainty evidence).LMWH versus VKAThree RCTs (641 participants) compared LMWH to VKA in adults. The available evidence did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of LMWH relative to VKA on mortality (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.59; RD 6 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 41 fewer to 56 more; low-certainty evidence), symptomatic catheter-related VTE (RR 1.83, 95% CI 0.44 to 7.61; RD 15 more per 1000, 95% CI 10 fewer to 122 more; very low-certainty evidence), PE (RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.74 to 3.92; RD 35 more per 1000, 95% CI 13 fewer to 144 more; low-certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 3.11, 95% CI 0.13 to 73.11; RD 2 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 72 more; very low-certainty evidence), or minor bleeding (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.20 to 4.61; RD 1 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 21 fewer to 95 more; very low-certainty evidence). The meta-analyses showed that LMWH probably increased the risk of thrombocytopenia compared to VKA at three months of follow-up (RR 1.69, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.39; RD 149 more per 1000, 95% CI 43 fewer to 300 more; moderate-certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: The evidence was not conclusive for the effect of LMWH on mortality, the effect of VKA on mortality and catheter-related VTE, and the effect of LMWH compared to VKA on mortality and catheter-related VTE. We found moderate-certainty evidence that LMWH reduces catheter-related VTE compared to no LMWH. People with cancer with CVCs considering anticoagulation should balance the possible benefit of reduced thromboembolic complications with the possible harms and burden of anticoagulants.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389340PMC
June 2018

Anticoagulation for the initial treatment of venous thromboembolism in people with cancer.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 01 24;1:CD006649. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Family Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 1107 2020.

Background: Compared with people without cancer, people with cancer who receive anticoagulant treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE) are more likely to develop recurrent VTE.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of three types of parenteral anticoagulants (i.e. fixed-dose low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), adjusted-dose unfractionated heparin (UFH), and fondaparinux) for the initial treatment of VTE in people with cancer.

Search Methods: A comprehensive search included a major electronic search of the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2018, Issue 1), MEDLINE (via Ovid) and Embase (via Ovid); handsearching of conference proceedings; checking of references of included studies; use of the 'related citation' feature in PubMed; and a search for ongoing studies. This update of the systematic review was based on the findings of a literature search conducted on 14 January 2018.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of LMWH, UFH, and fondaparinux in people with cancer and objectively confirmed VTE.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardized form, we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, interventions outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interested included all-cause mortality, symptomatic VTE, major bleeding, minor bleeding, postphlebitic syndrome, quality of life, and thrombocytopenia. We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach.

Main Results: Of 15440 identified citations, 7387 unique citations, 15 RCTs fulfilled the eligibility criteria. These trials enrolled 1615 participants with cancer and VTE: 13 compared LMWH with UFH enrolling 1025 participants, one compared fondaparinux with UFH and LMWH enrolling 477 participants, and one compared dalteparin with tinzaparin enrolling 113 participants. The meta-analysis of mortality at three months included 418 participants from five studies and that of recurrent VTE included 422 participants from 3 studies. The findings showed that LMWH likely decreases mortality at three months compared to UFH (risk ratio (RR) 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40 to 1.10; risk difference (RD) 57 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 101 fewer to 17 more; moderate certainty evidence), but did not rule out a clinically significant increase or decrease in VTE recurrence (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.76; RD 30 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 70 fewer to 73 more; moderate certainty evidence).The study comparing fondaparinux with heparin (UFH or LMWH) did not exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of fondaparinux on mortality at three months (RR 1.25, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.81; RD 43 more per 1000, 95% CI 24 fewer to 139 more; moderate certainty evidence), recurrent VTE (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.54; RD 8 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 52 fewer to 63 more; moderate certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.66; RD 12 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 40 fewer to 44 more; moderate certainty evidence), or minor bleeding (RR 1.53, 95% CI 0.88 to 2.66; RD 42 more per 1000, 95% CI 10 fewer to 132 more; moderate certainty evidence)The study comparing dalteparin with tinzaparin did not exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of dalteparin on mortality (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.73; RD 33 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 135 fewer to 173 more; low certainty evidence), recurrent VTE (RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.09 to 2.16; RD 47 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 77 fewer to 98 more; low certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 2.19, 95% CI 0.20 to 23.42; RD 20 more per 1000, 95% CI 14 fewer to 380 more; low certainty evidence), or minor bleeding (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.21; RD 24 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 95 fewer to 164 more; low certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: LMWH is possibly superior to UFH in the initial treatment of VTE in people with cancer. Additional trials focusing on patient-important outcomes will further inform the questions addressed in this review. The decision for a person with cancer to start LMWH therapy should balance the benefits and harms and consider the person's values and preferences.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389339PMC
January 2018

Oral anticoagulation in people with cancer who have no therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 12 29;12:CD006466. Epub 2017 Dec 29.

Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Oral anticoagulants may improve the survival of people with cancer through both an antitumor effect and antithrombotic effect, yet increase the risk of bleeding.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants in ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Search Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search in February 2016 that included a major electronic search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE (Ovid) and Embase (Ovid); handsearching of conference proceedings; checking of references of included studies; a search for ongoing studies; and using the 'related citation' feature in PubMed. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running continual searches and will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified. This update of the systematic review is based on the findings of a literature search conducted on 14 December 2017.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) in ambulatory people with cancer. These participants are typically undergoing systemic anticancer therapy, possibly including chemotherapy, target therapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardized form, we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, intervention outcomes of interest and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), major bleeding, minor bleeding and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach (GRADE Handbook).

Main Results: Of 8545 identified citations, including 7668 unique citations, 16 papers reporting on 7 RCTs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. These trials enrolled 1486 participants. The oral anticoagulant was warfarin in six of these RCTs and apixaban in the seventh RCT. The comparator was either placebo or no intervention. The meta-analysis of the studies comparing VKA to no VKA did not rule out a clinically significant increase or decrease in mortality at one year (risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87 to 1.03; risk difference (RD) 29 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 75 fewer to 17 more; moderate certainty evidence). One study assessed the effect of VKA on thrombotic outcomes. The study did not rule out a clinically significant increase or decrease in PE when comparing VKA to no VKA (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.07 to 16.58; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 6 fewer to 98 more; very low certainty evidence), but found that VKA compared to no VKA likely decreases the incidence of DVT (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.00 to 1.42; RD 35 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 38 fewer to 16 more; low certainty evidence). VKA increased both major bleeding (RR 2.93, 95% CI 1.86 to 4.62; RD 107 more per 1000, 95% CI 48 more to 201 more; moderate certainty evidence) and minor bleeding (RR 3.14, 95% CI 1.85 to 5.32; RD 167 more per 1000, 95% CI 66 more to 337 more; moderate certainty evidence).The study assessing the effect of DOAC compared to no DOAC did not rule out a clinically significant increase or decrease in mortality at three months (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.02 to 2.56; RD 51 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 65 fewer to 104 more; low certainty evidence), PE (RR 0.16, 95% CI 0.01 to 3.91; RD 28 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 33 fewer to 97 more; low certainty evidence), symptomatic DVT (RR 0.07, 95% CI 0.00 to 1.32; RD 93 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 100 fewer to 32 more; low certainty evidence), major bleeding (RR 0.16, 95% CI 0.01 to 3.91; RD 28 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 33 fewer to 97 more; low certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 4.43, 95% CI 0.25 to 79.68; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 0 fewer to 8 more; low certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: The existing evidence does not show a mortality benefit from oral anticoagulation in people with cancer but suggests an increased risk for bleeding.Editorial note: this is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence, as it becomes available. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389337PMC
December 2017

Parenteral anticoagulation in ambulatory patients with cancer.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 09 11;9:CD006652. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Riad El Solh St, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Anticoagulation may improve survival in patients with cancer through a speculated anti-tumour effect, in addition to the antithrombotic effect, although may increase the risk of bleeding.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of parenteral anticoagulants in ambulatory patients with cancer who, typically, are undergoing chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Search Methods: A comprehensive search included (1) a major electronic search (February 2016) of the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE (1946 to February 2016; accessed via OVID) and Embase (1980 to February 2016; accessed via OVID); (2) handsearching of conference proceedings; (3) checking of references of included studies; (4) use of the 'related citation' feature in PubMed and (5) a search for ongoing studies in trial registries. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running searches continually and we will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified. This update of the systematic review is based on the findings of a literature search conducted on 14 August, 2017.

Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of parenteral anticoagulation in ambulatory patients with cancer. Typically, these patients are undergoing chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardized form we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, interventions outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interested included all-cause mortality, symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), major bleeding, minor bleeding, and quality of life. We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach (GRADE handbook).

Main Results: Of 6947 identified citations, 18 RCTs fulfilled the eligibility criteria. These trials enrolled 9575 participants. Trial registries' searches identified nine registered but unpublished trials, two of which were labeled as 'ongoing trials'. In all included RCTs, the intervention consisted of heparin (either unfractionated heparin or low molecular weight heparin). Overall, heparin appears to have no effect on mortality at 12 months (risk ratio (RR) 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93 to 1.03; risk difference (RD) 10 fewer per 1000; 95% CI 35 fewer to 15 more; moderate certainty of evidence) and mortality at 24 months (RR 0.99; 95% CI 0.96 to 1.01; RD 8 fewer per 1000; 95% CI 31 fewer to 8 more; moderate certainty of evidence). Heparin therapy reduces the risk of symptomatic VTE (RR 0.56; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.68; RD 30 fewer per 1000; 95% CI 36 fewer to 22 fewer; high certainty of evidence), while it increases in the risks of major bleeding (RR 1.30; 95% 0.94 to 1.79; RD 4 more per 1000; 95% CI 1 fewer to 11 more; moderate certainty of evidence) and minor bleeding (RR 1.70; 95% 1.13 to 2.55; RD 17 more per 1000; 95% CI 3 more to 37 more; high certainty of evidence). Results failed to confirm or to exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of heparin on thrombocytopenia (RR 0.69; 95% CI 0.37 to 1.27; RD 33 fewer per 1000; 95% CI 66 fewer to 28 more; moderate certainty of evidence); quality of life (moderate certainty of evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: Heparin appears to have no effect on mortality at 12 months and 24 months. It reduces symptomatic VTE and likely increases major and minor bleeding. Future research should further investigate the survival benefit of different types of anticoagulants in patients with different types and stages of cancer. The decision for a patient with cancer to start heparin therapy should balance the benefits and downsides, and should integrate the patient's values and preferences.Editorial note:This is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence, as it becomes available. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419241PMC
September 2017
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