A survey of physician perception and practices regarding pharmacological thromboprophylaxis during chemotherapy for bladder cancer
Keywords:venous thromboembolism, bladder cancer, cystectomy, chemotherapy
Introduction: Patients with advanced bladder cancer receiving chemotherapy have a high risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE); however, we hypothesized these patients are not routinely offered thromboprophylaxis. The objective of this study was to characterize practice patterns and perceptions of Canadian urologic and medical oncologists, and to identify research needs regarding thromboprophylaxis for patients with bladder cancer.
Methods: An online survey was distributed to Canadian urologic and medical oncologists who manage advanced bladder cancer. The survey explored physician opinions regarding VTE rates, risk stratification scores, thromboprophylaxis use in different treatment settings, and interest in clinical trials.
Results: Seventy physicians were invited and 36 (51%) completed the survey, including 20 (56%) urologic oncologists and 16 (44%) medical oncologists. Most respondents (35; 97%) believed that exposure to platinum chemotherapy increases VTE risk. For patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 34 (94%) respondents estimated the risk of VTE to be 10% or higher, yet 25 (69%) indicated they do not routinely recommend thromboprophylaxis. Physicians frequently (10; 40%) defer the decision to another physician, while eight (32%) believe there is not enough evidence to guide best management. Similar responses were obtained for metastatic patients. Almost all (94%) respondents were interested in participating in a thromboprophylaxis trial for patients with bladder cancer.
Conclusions: Patients with bladder cancer receiving chemotherapy in Canada are not routinely offered thromboprophylaxis. We found strong interest among Canadian oncologists to participate in clinical trials examining this topic.
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