Prostate Cancer Linked to Thromboembolism

Treated, untreated patients have increased risk of deep-venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients -- especially those receiving endocrine therapy -- have an increased risk of thromboembolism, according to a study published online April 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

Mieke Van Hemelrijck, of King's College London, and colleagues analyzed data from PCBaSe Sweden, a database based on the National Prostate Cancer Register, which covers over 96 percent of prostate cancer cases in Sweden. The data involved 30,642 men who received primary endocrine therapy, 26,432 who received curative treatment, and 19,526 who were placed on surveillance between Jan. 1, 1997, and Dec. 31, 2007.

During the study period, 1,881 patients developed a thromboembolic disease. The researchers found that men receiving endocrine therapy had an increased risk for deep-venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (standardized incidence ratios [SIRs], 2.48 and 1.95, respectively) but not for arterial embolism. They observed similar risks for deep-venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in men who received curative treatment (SIRs, 1.73 and 2.03, respectively) and in men who were placed on surveillance (SIRs, 1.27 and 1.57, respectively).

"Our results indicate that prostate cancer itself, prostate cancer treatments, and selection mechanisms all contribute to increased risk of thromboembolic disease," the authors conclude. "Thromboembolic disease should be a concern when managing patients with prostate cancer."

One co-author has served on an Astra Zeneca committee. Another co-author received consulting fees from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, which markets a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist.

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