Archive of Oncology 2002 Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages: 61-66
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Effect of CMF-chemotherapy on blood coagulation in patients with breast cancer

Petrović Dragana

BACKGROUND: Influences of CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate,5-fluorouracil) chemotherapy on blood coagulation were investigated in 30 patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and in 30 patients receiving chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer. METHODS: In plasma samples of 60 patients (median age 49.5), we evaluated the following parameters 1)Markers of in vivo clotting activation thrombin-antithrombin complex (ELISA) and D-dimer (ELISA), 2) Natural anticoagulants (protein C [PC] and antithrombin III [AT III] by chromogenic methods). The coagulation studies were performed at the beginning and at the end of the first cycle of CMF protocol. RESULTS: Before CMF therapy, significant difference was observed between patients with early stage and patients with metastatic breast cancer in the PC (p<0.01), AT III (p<0.01) and TAT (p<0.01) levels. After CMF therapy, patients with stage II (adjuvant) disease manifested a significant decrease in the level of PC and AT III activity (p<0.01) and an increase in TAT level (p<0.01). In patients with disseminated breast cancer CMF therapy provoked an increased level of TAT and D-dimer with a decreased activity of protein C and antithrombin III. There was significant difference in value of TAT, D- dimer, protein C and antithrombin III between the patients with adjuvant and metastatic breast cancer patients after CMF chemotherapy CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the application of cytotoxic therapy provokes hypercoagulable condition in breast cancer patients. This effect should be considered when chemotherapy is employed in advanced cancer patients at high risk for thrombosis, or in patients with other risk factors.

Keywords: breast neoplasms, blood coagulation, antineoplastic agents

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