Rivaroxaban Safe and Effective in Cancer Patients With Thrombosis

Although rivaroxaban was approved by the FDA in 2012, there has remained a knowledge gap about how it works with cancer patients. A recent study found that the therapy is safe and effective when used among patients with cancer.

Although rivaroxaban was approved by the FDA in 2012, there has remained a knowledge gap about how it works with cancer patients. A recent study, presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, focused specifically on the safety and efficacy of the therapy when used among cancer patients.

Gerald Soff, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues studied 200 patients with cancer-associated thrombosis and treated them with rivaroxaban. They found that the rate of major bleeding was very low at 1.6% and the rate of recurrent thrombosis was just 4.4%, he told ecancertv. In addition, they did not see any loss in efficacy, safety, or mortality compared with the older generation of anticoagulants.

Dr Soff explained that rivaroxaban also had significantly better patient satisfaction because it is a pill instead of an injection and it costs less.

This study was the first to study rivaroxaban looking only and specifically at cancer patients. Although there have been previous studies where cancer patients were studied as a subgroup, which also found that rivaroxaban provides safety and efficacy.

He concluded that for patients who do not have a contraindication to the drug, they can be treated with rivaroxaban for their thrombosis with a “reasonable reassurance” of safety and efficacy. However, Dr Soff pointed out that like all anticoagulants, rivaroxaban requires that the provider understands the drug and how it works, to know when to use it and when not to use it.

“But there is no evidence right now that there is a problem using it in the cancer niche, and if anything we seem to see favorable safety and efficacy compared to the standard of care,” Dr Soff said.