Low molecular weight heparins in the treatment of lung cancer

Wouter W. Mellema, Egbert F. Smit, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction: Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer-related death. Venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) occur frequently in lung cancer and are a poor prognostic marker. For prevention and treatment of VTE, low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) are superior to vitamin K antagonists. There is some evidence that LMWH may improve survival in cancer patients. Areas covered: The areas covered in this review are: lung cancer and VTEs; role of LMWH in treatment of VTEs; anticancer mechanism of heparins and clinical trials with LMWH in lung cancer. Expert opinion: LMWH plays an important role in prevention and treatment of VTEs in lung cancer. Although there is evidence from both preclinical data and retrospective analysis of clinical trials that LMWH may prolong survival this is not confirmed by prospective randomized clinical trials. Several clinical trials on this subject in lung cancer are ongoing and have to be awaited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1522
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • low molecular weight heparin
  • lung cancer
  • thromboembolic events

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