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What are the difficulties in conducting randomised controlled trials of thromboprophylaxis in myeloma patients and how can we address these? Lessons from apixaban versus LMWH or aspirin as thromboprophylaxis in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (TiMM) feasibility clinical trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019


King's Authors


Routine thromboprophylaxis (TP) in newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients comprises either aspirin for standard risk patients or low molecular weight heparin for high risk patients. Studies using DOACs in cancer patients include few with myeloma. The aim of this feasibility clinical trial was to establish the foundations for creating a multicentre trial and identify any safety concerns with apixaban. Patient perspectives were sought. NDMM patients were stratified according to VTE risk and randomised to either standard TP or apixaban 2.5 mg BD and reviewed every 3 weeks throughout their chemotherapy. Two focus groups were carried out on 2 occasions at King’s College Hospital and Guy’s Hospital, London. Each lasted an hour, were recorded, transcribed and themes explored using NVivo 11. Ten patients were recruited, 2 considered high risk and received apixaban and 8 standard risk; 4 randomised to aspirin and 4 to apixaban. Five patients and 2 carers participated in the focus groups. There were no major bleeding or VTE events. Patients were not aware of the thrombotic risk associated with cancer. There is a lack of both written and verbal information on this topic. Myeloma patients were happy to be included in more than one trial simultaneously. Our study provides information on the difficulties facing physicians and patients on obtaining evidence of the safety of DOACs in the context of myeloma. Despite patients being happy to co-recruit into thromboprophylaxis trials along with chemotherapy trials this is not current practice.

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