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Extending venous thromboembolism secondary prevention with apixaban in cancer patients. The EVE trial.

BACKGROUND: Cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) management guideline recommendations include continued therapeutic anticoagulation while active cancer persists. The Federal Drug Administration label for apixaban for secondary VTE prevention includes a dose reduction to 2.5 mg twice daily after 6 months of treatment.

OBJECTIVES: The study's purpose was to determine whether this dose reduction is advisable for cancer-associated VTE.

METHODS: A randomized, double-blind trial compared apixaban 2.5 mg with 5 mg twice daily for 12 months among cancer patients with VTE who had completed 6 to 12 months of anticoagulation therapy. The primary outcome was combined major bleeding plus clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding.

RESULTS: Of 370 patients recruited, 360 were included in the intention-to-treat analyses. Major plus clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding occurred in 16 of 179 patients (8.9%) in the apixaban 2.5 mg group compared with 22 of 181 patients (12.2%) in the 5 mg group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.38-1.37; P = .39). Major bleeding occurred in 2.8% of the apixaban 2.5 mg group and in 2.2% of the 5 mg group (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 0.34-4.66; P = .73). Recurrent VTE or arterial thrombosis occurred in 9 of 179 patients (5.0%) in the apixaban 2.5 mg group and 9 of 181 patients (5.0%) in the 5 mg group (HR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.40-2.53; P = 1.00). All-cause mortality rates were similar between groups, 13% vs 12% (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.63-2.04; P = .67).

CONCLUSION: For secondary prevention of cancer-associated VTE, apixaban 2.5 mg compared with 5 mg twice daily did not lower combined bleeding events (EVE trial NCT03080883).

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