Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common complication in cancer. Although thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients is recommended by the guidelines, clinicians’ use of thromboprophylaxis remains limited due to cost, bleeding complications, and reluctance to give injectable anticoagulants. Inflammation plays essential roles in the pathogenesis of cancer-associated thrombosis. Owing to its ability to decrease proinflammatory cytokines, statins have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, statins can be possibly utilized as thromboprophylaxis therapy in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
To compare the effectiveness of atorvastatin and rivaroxaban for DVT prevention in high-risk thrombosis patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
Double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving cancer patients with high-risk of thrombosis undergoing chemotherapy. We randomly assigned patients without deep-vein thrombosis at screening to receive atorvastatin 20 mg or rivaroxaban 10 mg daily for up to 90 days. Doppler ultrasonography was performed 90 days following chemotherapy to diagnose DVT. Average cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to analyze the cost of atorvastatin compared to rivaroxaban.
Of the eighty six patients who underwent randomization, primary efficacy end point was observed in 1 of 42 patients (2.3%) in the atorvastatin group and in 1 of 44 (2.2%) in the rivaroxaban group (Odds Ratio [OR], 0.953; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.240 to 3.971; p = 1.000). There was a significant difference in the incidence of major bleeding, 2 of 42 patients (4.8%) in the atorvastatin group and 12 of 44 (27.3%) in the rivaroxaban group (OR, 0.257; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.94; p = 0.007). The average cost-effectiveness ratio of using atorvastatin was lower than that of rivaroxaban.
Atorvastatin did not differ significantly from rivaroxaban in reducing the incidence of DVT, lower bleeding risk, and cost-effectiveness for thromboprophylaxis in high-risk thrombosis patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The presence of limited statistical power and wide confidence intervals in this study needs further study to strengthen the efficacy of atorvastatin as DVT prophylaxis in cancer patients.
ISRCTN71891829, Registration Date: 17/12/2020.

© 2023. The Author(s).