Impact of chemotherapy on activated protein C-dependent thrombin generation—Association with VTE occurrence

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Abstract

Chemotherapy has been associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, the prevalence of coagulation abnormalities or VTE occurrence as a consequence of different anti-cancer agents or treatment schemes is largely uncharacterized. Thus, this study was aimed at analyzing the impact of different anticancer drugs on the prothrombotic status of cancer out-patients scheduled for chemotherapy. To this purpose, a mono-institutional study was prospectively conducted to monitor serial changes of activated protein C (APC) function in 505 consecutive cancer out-patients with primary or relapsing solid cancer at the start of a new chemotherapy regimen. The results obtained showed that age >65 years (p= 0.01), ECOG performance status (p= 0.01), platinum-based (p= 0.035) and fluoropyrimidine-based regimens (p= 0.008) were independent predictors of an acquired APC resistance during the first chemotherapy cycle. Multivariate model of Cox proportional hazards survival analysis demonstrated that a decline in APC functionality (HR = 2.4;p= 0.013) and platinum-based regimens (HR = 2.2;p= 0.042) were both capable of predicting the occurrence of a first VTE episode during chemotherapy. Indeed, 14% of patients with platinum-associated APC impairment had VTE over a 1-year follow-up, compared to 3% of patients treated with other regimens and in whom APC functionality remained stable (HR = 1.5;p= 0.003). We may, thus, conclude that use of platinum-based regimens is responsible for induction of an acquired thrombophilic condition and represents a predictor for VTE even after adjustment for other risk factors.

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