Venous thromboembolism (VTE) may increase the risk of mortality among patients with multiple myeloma (MM) within the first 2 years following diagnosis, according to findings presented in a poster session at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

VTE is thought to be a mortality-modifying risk factor among patients with MM, but findings from previous trials have been conflicting.

For this study, researchers assessed the outcomes of 4797 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma between September 1, 1999 and 2013 from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system. Various factors, including age, sex, body mass index, race, previous therapies, comorbidities, renal function, albumin, and hemoglobin were assessed. Patients with VTE were identified using an algorithm that detected ICD-9 codes and treatments used for VTE.

Overall, 641 (15.4%) of 4797 patients developed VTE post diagnosis.

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Results showed that upon adjusting for the previously mentioned various health-related factors, researchers found that patients with both MM and VTE had an increased risk of death at 2 years (hazard ratio [HR], 1.28; 95%CI, 1.09-1.52) and at 5 years (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.04-1.31). No increase in risk was observed in the first year (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.90-1.49).

A landmark analysis of patients with at least 6-month survival showed that VTE continued to be a risk factor for mortality at 2 and 5 years. 

The authors concluded that “whether the observed increase in mortality is a direct result of VTE could not be determined in this study. Further study of MM patients with a high-risk for VTE, including studies of thromboprophylaxis, could clarify the significance of this association.”

Reference

Schoen MW, Luo S, Gage B, et al. Association of venous thromboembolism with increased mortality in patients with multiple myeloma. Poster presented at: 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting; June 1-5, 2018; Chicago, IL.