Coagulation in Cancer pp 31-41

Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 148)

Activation of Clotting Factors in Cancer


Evidence for “hypercoagulability” is commonly found in patients with cancer and increases the risk of thromboembolism (TE) [1]. While the pathophysiology of TE in cancer is complex, it can be viewed classically as related to abnormalities of Virchow’s triad: stasis of the blood; vascular injury; hypercoagulability (or, as described by Virchow himself, as “abnormalities of the fixed elements of the blood”) [2]. Epidemiologic, laboratory, pathologic and clinical evidence supports this important association. However, association is clearly not the same as causation and, until recently, TE was thought largely to be an epiphenomenon in cancer – a secondary manifestation of the inflammatory response to tumor growth and/or to the therapy (e.g. chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy).

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of MedicineThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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