Randomized Trial of the Effect of the Low Molecular Weight Heparin Nadroparin on Survival in Patients With Cancer

Frederiek F. van Doormaal*, Marcello Di Nisio, Hans-Martin Otten, Dick J. Richel, Martin Prins, Harry R. Buller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Earlier studies showed that low molecular weight heparin significantly prolongs the survival of a wide variety of patients with cancer without venous thromboembolism. This study was designed to confirm these findings in a more homogeneous group of patients with cancer. Patients and Methods In this multicenter, randomized, open-label study, patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (stage IIIB), hormone-refractory prostate cancer, or locally advanced pancreatic cancer were randomly assigned to nadroparin or to no nadroparin in addition to their standard anticancer treatment. In the nadroparin arm, subcutaneous nadroparin was administered for 6 weeks (2 weeks at therapeutic dose, and 4 weeks at half therapeutic dose). The patients were eligible to receive additional cycles of nadroparin (2 weeks at therapeutic dose, and 4 weeks of washout period). Outcomes were overall survival, time to progression, and major bleeding. All study outcomes were adjudicated by an independent, blinded committee. Results A total of 244 patients were allocated to nadroparin, and 259 were allocated to the control group. A median survival of 13.1 months was observed in the nadroparin recipients compared with 11.9 months in the no-treatment arm (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.18, adjusted for cancer type). No difference in time to progression was observed. The number of major bleedings was comparable at 4.1% in the nadroparin set and 3.5% in the control set. Conclusion This study did not show a survival benefit of nadroparin in patients with advanced prostate, lung, or pancreatic cancer. Given the ongoing studies in this area and the previous data, the role of low molecular weight heparins in cancer survival remains undefined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-2076
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2011


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