This is a thrombosis which usually occurs in the blood vessels of the legs. Sometimes, however, the thrombosis may also occur in the arms. Venous thrombosis is the result of an increased activity of the blood coagulation. This causes a blood clot that could close off a vessel. If a clot breaks loose, or a piece of the clot breaks off, it can lead to pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism can even be deadly. Worldwide, millions of people use anti-coagulants in order to reduce the chance of getting a venous thrombosis. The disadvantage of the use of anti-coagulants is an increase in the probability of getting bleeding. Because of that disadvantage practitioners of cancer patients are reluctant to preventive prescribing anticoagulants.
Cancer and the tissue factor
What is a tissue factor?
The tissue factor is a protein that is not normally present in the blood. The tissue factor is located outside the blood. The blood comes into contact with the tissue factor when there is a wound. The tissue factor starts the clotting. As had been thought. But a growing body of research now shows that tumors create tissue factor. Which tissue factor then enters the bloodstream. Thereby also increase the risk of unwanted activation of the coagulation and the associated risk of thrombosis sharply.
Place where to find tissue factor in the blood is
Recently, scientists have discovered that when tissue factor is present in the blood, which is always to be found on tiny vesicles derived from cells. These blisters are always present in the blood and are usually derived from blood cells and only cells lining the vessel wall. The discovery now has been that such sores in patients with cancer may also be derived from a tumor. Dr. R. Nieuwland his research based on the clinical fact. On that basis he wants to develop a test that can better predict whether cancer patients have a higher than average risk of developing venous thrombosis.
The Dr. R. Nieuwland developed test measures the ability of the vesicles which are present in the blood in order to promote the coagulation of the blood. The purpose of this is to identify patients at high risk of developing a venous thrombosis prior to the emergence of such thrombosis.
In almost 50 patients with cancer, thrombosis but without a preliminary investigation was carried out. It was found that with the test was remarkably well able to predict which patients would develop later thrombosis.
Dr. Nieuwland states that he wants to explore further ways of improving the predictive power of the test. He wants to see the extent of tumor-derived tissue factor is present in the blood of patients with cancer. And he wants to expand the investigation to examine more patients. The aim is also to make the way free to only cancer patients who have a high risk of thrombosis in the future, preventively to be treated with anticoagulants. This avoids cancer patients with a low risk of thrombosis:
- unnecessarily be treated with anti-coagulants;
- an increased risk of bleeding complications walk.