Published online May 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i19.2325
Peer-review started: January 24, 2021
First decision: February 22, 2021
Revised: February 28, 2021
Accepted: April 22, 2021
Article in press: April 22, 2021
Published online: May 21, 2021
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a devastating malignancy with fewer than 10% of patients being alive at 5 years after diagnosis. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurs in approximatively 20% of patients with PC, resulting in increased morbidity, mortality and significant health care costs. The management of VTE is particularly challenging in these frail patients. Adequate selection of the most appropriate anticoagulant for each individual patient according to the current international guidelines is warranted for overcoming treatment challenges. The International Initiative on Thrombosis and Cancer multi-language web-based mobile application (downloadable for free at www.itaccme.com) has been developed to help clinicians in decision making in the most complex situations. In this narrative review, we will discuss the contemporary epidemiology and burden of VTE in PC patients, the performances and limitations of current risk assessment models to predict the risk of VTE, as well as evidence from recent clinical trials for the primary prophylaxis and treatment of cancer-associated VTE that support up-dated clinical practice guidelines.
Core Tip: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common but potentially life-threatening complication in patients with Pancreatic cancer (PC). There is an urgent need to raise awareness on this underrecognized issue. This review discusses the incidence and risk factors of VTE in PC patients, and the results from recent clinical trials for the primary prophylaxis and treatment of VTE in cancer patients supporting the most recent clinical practice guidelines.