Stroke Prevention Therapy Safe, Effective for Cancer Patients

HealthDay News — The safety and efficacy of rivaroxaban treatment for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with active cancer is similar to the general population, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Eva S. Laube, MD, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues assessed the safety and efficacy of rivaroxaban in 163 patients with active cancer and AF treated from Jan. 1, 2014, to March 31, 2016. Outcomes were assessed from medical records.

After adjusting for competing risks, the researchers found that the estimated one-year cumulative incidence of ischemic stroke was 1.4% and major bleeding was 1.2%. 

At 1 year, the risk of clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding leading to discontinuation of anticoagulation was 14.0%, while the cumulative incidence of mortality was 22.6%, reflecting an active cancer population. There was one death following an acute ischemic cerebrovascular insult.

“The safety and efficacy of rivaroxaban treatment for nonvalvular AF in patients with active cancer is comparable to the results of the Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET-AF) study in the general population,” the authors wrote.

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Laube ES, Yu A, Gupta D, et al. Rivaroxaban for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and active cancer [published online July 15, 2017]. Am J Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2017.04.009