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Eur J Cancer. 2012 Jun;48(9):1283-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Gemcitabine versus gemcitabine plus dalteparin thromboprophylaxis in pancreatic cancer.

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Queen's Centre for Oncology and Haematology, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, UK.



Annualised figures show an up to 7-fold higher incidence of vascular thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) compared to other common malignancies. Concurrent VTE has been shown to confer a worse overall prognosis in APC.


One hundred and twenty three APC patients were randomised to receive either gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) or the same with weight-adjusted dalteparin (WAD) for 12 weeks. Primary end-point was the reduction of all-type VTE during the study period. NCT00462852, ISRCTN: 76464767.


The incidence of all-type VTE during the WAD treatment period (<100 days from randomisation) was reduced from 23% to 3.4% (p = 0.002), with a risk ratio (RR)of 0.145, 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.035-0.612) and an 85% risk reduction. All-type VTE throughout the whole follow-up period was reduced from 28% to 12% (p = 0.039), RR = 0.419, 95% CI (0.187-0.935) and a 58% risk reduction. Lethal VTE <100 days was seen only in the control arm, 8.3% compared to 0% (p = 0.057), RR = 0.092, 95% CI (0.005-1.635).


Weight adjusted dalteparin used as primary prophylaxis for 12 weeks is safe and produces a highly significant reduction of all-type VTE during the prophylaxis period. The benefit is maintained after dalteparin withdrawal although decreases with time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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