Estimating Bleeding Risk in Patients with Cancer-Associated Thrombosis: Evaluation of Existing Risk Scores and Development of a New Risk Score

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Abstract

Background  Bleeding risk is highly relevant for treatment decisions in cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT). Several risk scores exist, but have never been validated in patients with CAT and are not recommended for practice. Objectives  To compare methods of estimating clinically relevant (major and clinically relevant nonmajor) bleeding risk in patients with CAT: (1) existing risk scores for bleeding in venous thromboembolism, (2) pragmatic classification based on cancer type, and (3) new prediction model. Methods  In a posthoc analysis of the Hokusai VTE Cancer study, a randomized trial comparing edoxaban with dalteparin for treatment of CAT, seven bleeding risk scores were externally validated (ACCP-VTE, HAS-BLED, Hokusai, Kuijer, Martinez, RIETE, and VTE-BLEED). The predictive performance of these scores was compared with a pragmatic classification based on cancer type (gastrointestinal; genitourinary; other) and a newly derived competing risk-adjusted prediction model based on clinical predictors for clinically relevant bleeding within 6 months after CAT diagnosis with nonbleeding-related mortality as the competing event (CAT-BLEED). Results  Data of 1,046 patients (149 events) were analyzed. Predictive performance of existing risk scores was poor to moderate (C-statistics: 0.50-0.57; poor calibration). Internal validation of the pragmatic classification and CAT-BLEED showed moderate performance (respective C-statistics: 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56-0.66, and 0.63; 95% CI 0.58-0.68; good calibration). Conclusion  Existing risk scores for bleeding perform poorly after CAT. Pragmatic classification based on cancer type provides marginally better estimates of clinically relevant bleeding risk. Further improvement may be achieved with CAT-BLEED, but this requires external validation in practice-based settings and with other DOACs and its clinical usefulness is yet to be demonstrated.

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De Winter, M. A., Dorresteijn, J. A. N., Ageno, W., Ay, C., Beyer-Westendorf, J., Coppens, M., … Nijkeuter, M. (2022). Estimating Bleeding Risk in Patients with Cancer-Associated Thrombosis: Evaluation of Existing Risk Scores and Development of a New Risk Score. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 122(5), 818–829. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1735251

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