Abstract

Background: Two procoagulant factors are associated with the tumor cell: tissue factor (TF) and cancer procoagulant (CP). The activation of the coagulation system can cause thrombosis and it has also been involved in the development of metastasis.

Aims: 1- to establish the relationship between the presence and the levels of both procoagulants and the development of thrombosis or disease progression. 2- to analyse if the treatment with chemotherapy increases the levels of TF or CP.

Methods: Patients with recent diagnosis of cancer were included in this prospective study. TF and CP determinations were done at diagnosis, at three months after chemotherapy, and at either event of progression or thrombosis. TF evaluation was done through ELISA test (normal value 159 pg/ml) and CP evaluation by a coagulometric method (

Gordon et al,
Thromb Res
1989
;
56
:
431
–40
). In the last test negative values indicate high CP activity. Statistical analysis of the data was performed by two-tailed Fisher exact test and Mann-Withney/Wilcoxon test.

Results: 31 patients, 61% female sex, age median 54 years. Digestive cancer 49%, breast 32%, genitourinary 13%, lung 2%. Stages of the disease were: early (I and II) 48% and advanced (III and IV) 52%. Median follow-up was 11.6 months. High levels of TF and CP at diagnosis were seen in 48% and 84% respectively. No patients developed thrombosis. Nine patients had disease progression (29%) and 4 (13%) died. Eigthy eight percent patients of this last group had advanced stages of the disease. The type of tumor more frequently associated with the event was digestive cancer (45%) and genitourinary cancer (33%). TF and CP values were increased by 40% and 50% respectively during chemotherapy treatment. Level of CP at diagnosis predicted progression (-26 sec versus -8 sec in patients with and without progression p 0.006) and also mortality (-34 sec versus -10 sec p0.003). TF at diagnosis predicted neither progression nor mortality. All patients who had progressive disease showed increased levels of TF (388 pg/ml vs 217 pg/ml p0.002) and CP (-63 sec vs -23 sec p.006) with respect to the values at diagnosis.

Conclusions: Higher levels of CP at diagnosis are associated with a greater frequency of progression and mortality. No patients developed thrombosis. TF and CP levels were increased at the time of progression with respect to the values obtained at diagnosis. Chemotherapy increases the values of both procoagulants. A larger follow-up and a large number of patients could clarify the role of these procoagulants in the development of disease progression (metastasis).

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.