Cancer, Chemotherapy and Clots: Preventing deaths from VTE in cancer patients
On Tuesday, 18th October 2016, the APPTG held a roundtable event in Portcullis House to share the key findings of its latest research on VTE in cancer patients. The APPTG’s research findings are:
- Of the patients who died of cancer between 2012 and 2015, 2.5% also had VTE listed on their death certificate as a cause of death. This accounts for an average of 4,047 deaths per year during this period, peaking at 4,224 deaths in 2015.
- The average annual increase in cancer deaths in which VTE is also a cause of death is over four (4.45) times higher than the average annual increase in overall cancer deaths.
- Death rates for patients who died of brain, lung and bladder cancers – where VTE was also implicated – were particularly high at 2.9%, 2.9% and 2.5% respectively (in 2015).
- Only one in three NHS Trusts (35%) have a dedicated policy or pathway for the management of suspected VTE in patients receiving chemotherapy.
- Across all regions, just under half of Trusts (44%) are providing patients with both written and verbal information about the risk of developing VTE during chemotherapy; what symptoms to look out for and what action they should take if they suspect a Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism.
- On average, 2.4% of cancer patients in England were also diagnosed with VTE each year between 2012 and 2014; this is higher than previously estimated.
- The incidence rate of VTE in cancer patients varies by region; the South of England region has an incidence rate of 2.2% and the North of England has a significantly higher rate of 2.6%.
Attendees also heard from Dr Simon Noble, Medical Director (Wales) for Thrombosis UK on why cancer patients are at risk of VTE, and Professor Annie Young, University of Warwick, on the Cancer Associated Thrombosis White Paper presented to the European Parliament on World Thrombosis Day (13th October 2016). The discussions at the roundtable meeting informed the recommendations of the 2016 update of the APPTG’s VTE in Cancer Patients report.