Extended prophylaxis with bemiparin for the prevention of venous thromboembolism after abdominal or pelvic surgery for cancer: the CANBESURE randomized study


Professor Vijay V. Kakkar, Thrombosis Research Institute, Emmanuel Kaye Building, Manresa Road – Chelsea, London SW3 6LR, UK.
Tel.: +44 207 351 8301; fax: +44 207 351 8317.
E-mail: president@tri-london.ac.uk


Summary. Background: There is not enough clinical evidence to make a strong recommendation on the optimal duration of thromboprophylaxis using low-molecular weight heparins (LMWH) in patients undergoing major cancer surgery. Patients and methods: CANBESURE is a randomized, double-blind study which enrolled patients admitted for abdominal or pelvic surgery for cancer. They received 3500 IU of bemiparin subcutaneously once daily for 8 days and were then randomized to receive either bemiparin or placebo for 20 additional days. Bilateral venography was performed after 20 days and evaluated blinded. The primary efficacy outcome was the composite of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), non-fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) and all-cause mortality at the end of double-blind period. Major venous thromboembolism (proximal deep-vein thrombosis, non-fatal pulmonary embolism and venous thromboembolism-related deaths) was also evaluated. The primary safety outcome was major bleeding. Results: Six hundred and twenty-five and 488 patients were included in the safety and main efficacy analyzes, respectively. The primary efficacy outcome occurred in 25 out of 248 patients (10.1%) in the bemiparin group and 32 out of 240 (13.3%) in the placebo group (relative risk reduction 24.4%; 95% CI: −23.7–53.8%; P = 0.26). At the end of double-blind period, major venous thromboembolism occurred in 2 (0.8%) and 11 (4.6%) patients, respectively (relative risk reduction 82.4%; 95% CI: 21.5–96.1%; P = 0.010). No significant difference was found in major bleedings. Conclusions: Four weeks compared with 1 week of prophylaxis with bemiparin after abdominal or pelvic cancer surgery did not significantly reduce the primary efficacy outcome, but decreased major venous thromboembolism (VTE) without increasing hemorrhagic complications.