PRODIGE: a randomized placebo-controlled trial of dalteparin low-molecular-weight heparin thromboprophylaxis in patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma


  • The PRODIGE study of thromboprophylaxis using dalteparin in newly diagnosed brain tumor patients is an original, unpublished phase III trial. Preliminary results were presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. J Clin Oncol 25:77s, 2007 (abstr 2011).

James R. Perry, Division of Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, A402, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Tel.: +1 416 480 4766; fax: 1+ 416 480 5054.


Summary. Background and objectives: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurs in 20–30% of patients with malignant glioma per year of survival. We tested the efficacy of long-term dalteparin low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for prevention of VTE in these patients. Patients/methods: Adults with newly diagnosed malignant glioma were randomized to receive dalteparin 5000 anti-Xa units or placebo, both subcutaneously once daily for 6 months starting within 4 weeks of surgery. Treatment continued for up to 12 months. The primary outcome was the cumulative risk of VTE over 6 months. The target sample size was 512 patients. Events were adjudicated by a committee unaware of treatment. Results: The trial began in 2002 and closed in May 2006 because of expiration of study medication. Ninety-nine patients were randomized to LMWH and 87 to placebo. Twenty-two patients developed VTE in the first 6 months: nine in the LMWH group and 13 in the placebo group [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.51, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.19–1.4, P = 0.29]. At 6 months, there were three major bleeds on LMWH and none on placebo; at 12 months, 5 (5.1%) major bleeds on LMWH and 1 (1.2%) on placebo occurred (HR = 4.2, 95% CI: 0.48–36, P = 0.22). All major bleeds were intracranial and occurred while on study medication. The 12-month mortality rates were 47.8% for LMWH and 45.4% for placebo (HR = 1.2, 95% CI: 0.73–2.0, P = 0.48). Conclusions: Trends suggesting reduced VTE and increased intracranial bleeding were seen in the LMWH thromboprophylaxis group. The role of long-term anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis in patients with brain tumors remains uncertain.