Clinical trials with anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies
Clinical trials
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Zacharski, L.R. (Leo R.); Meehan, K. (Kenneth); Martin-Algarra, S. (Salvador); et al. "Clinical trials with anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies". Cancer and Metastasis Reviews. 11 (3-4), 1992, 421 - 431
Clinical trials of drugs that influence coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways have been undertaken in patients with malignancy because these pathways are capable of influencing malignant progression. The validity of this concept was originally confirmed in experimental animal models of malignancy. Earlier pilot studies in human disease have been succeeded by definitive prospective randomized clinical trials that have revealed heterogeneity of responsiveness to anticoagulant and fibrinolytic agents that may be attributable to differences in mechanisms of interaction of the tumor cells of various types of malignancy with these pathways in vivo. In certain tumor types studied thus far, increased tumor response rates and prolongation of survival have been observed that suggest the possibility that substantial benefit may be realized from this treatment approach in patients with malignancy. In addition, the availability of newer and potentially more effective therapeutic agents holds promise for even greater gains in previously tested tumor types. The ability to design treatment regimens that correspond to defined mechanisms that pertain to specific tumor types should permit future studies to be designed rationally. Current data suggest that anticoagulant and fibrinolytic agents might reasonably be tested in tumor types characterized by the existence of a tumor cell-associated coagulation pathway with thrombin generation and conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin (such as small cell carcinoma of the lung). By contrast, protease inhibitors might reasonably be tested in tumor types characterized by expression of tumor cell plasminogen activators. Expansion of current views on the possible role of antithrombic drugs in cancer therapy is justified. For example, antithrombotic drugs classified as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents may inhibit carcinogenesis while polyanionic drugs with anticoagulant properties, such as suramin and heparin, may inhibit growth factor interactions with cells. Intriguing new opportunities clearly exist for interactions between clinical and basic investigators that may provide both novel biologic insights and improved patient care.

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