Evaluation of Biomarkers for the Prediction of Venous Thromboembolism in Ambulatory Cancer Patients

Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication of cancer. This study aimed to evaluate immature platelet fraction (IPF), mean platelet volume (MPV), P-selectin, D-dimer, and thrombin generation (TG) as predictive biomarkers for VTE and further the improvement of existing risk assessment models (RAMs).

Methods: A prospective, observational, exploratory study was conducted on ambulatory cancer patients with indication for systemic chemotherapy. Baseline RAMs included the Khorana-, Vienna Cancer, Thrombosis-, Protecht-, ONKOTEV-, and Catscore. IPF, MPV, P-selectin, D-dimer, and TG were analysed at baseline and 3-month follow-up.

Results: We enrolled 100 patients, of whom 89 completed the follow-up. Frequent tumour types were breast (30%), gastric (14%), gynaecological (14%), and colorectal (14%) cancer. Ten of the 89 patients (11.2%) developed VTE. The highest VTE rate was observed in patients with cholangiocarcinoma (3/5; 60%). Baseline D-dimer levels but not IPF, MPV, or P-selectin were associated with the risk of developing VTE (HR 6.9; p = 0.021). None of the RAMs showed statistical significance in predicting VTE. Peak thrombin and endogenous thrombin potential were lower in patients who developed VTE. Biomarker changes between baseline and follow-up were not associated with VTE risk.

Conclusions: VTE risk was well predicted by baseline D-dimer levels. Adding D-dimer could improve existing RAMs to better identify patients who may benefit from primary VTE prophylaxis. The VTE risk among patients with cholangiocarcinoma should be further evaluated.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Cholangiocarcinoma; D-dimer; Risk assessment models; Venous thromboembolism.