Table of Contents
Thrombosis
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 530183, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/530183
Review Article

Clinical Use of the Low-Molecular-Weight Heparins in Cancer Patients: Focus on the Improved Patient Outcomes

1Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison WI 53792, USA
2University of Wisconsin Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA
3Departments of Medicine, Human Oncology, and Neurology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA

Received 2 November 2010; Accepted 17 February 2011

Academic Editor: Ted Wun

Copyright © 2011 Bo H. Chao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Patients with malignant neoplastic diseases represent a high-risk population relative to thromboembolic disease. With the advent of improved and accessible diagnostic technology, for example, ultrasound and/or spiral CT scans, timely diagnosis of venous thromboembolic events (VTE) is readily accomplished. The introduction of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) approximately two decades ago (in contrast to unfractionated heparin and vitamin K antagonists) has provided a class of agents with a favorable therapeutic index. In the review to follow, the literature regarding the use of LMWH in oncologic patient populations is summarized. Topics addressed include prophylaxis, and treatment as well as consideration of the potential anti-neoplastic properties of this class of drugs.