Venous thromboembolism more prevalent in non-small cell lung cancer than in small cell lung cancer

   There is a higher incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in non-small cell lung cancer than in small cell lung cancer, according to a study by researchers at McLaren Regional Medical Center, Michigan State University, Flint, Michigan.

   They reviewed the records of 2164 patients (median 70 years, 53% male) with lung cancer between 1995 and 2008. There were 200 patients (9%) diagnosed with VTE. Of the 1783 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 176 (9.9%) had VTE whereas out of 381 patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) 24 (6.3%) had VTE (P=0.015). 

   According to the researchers, among NSCLC patients, 13.5% of patients with adenocarcinoma had VTE, whereas 6.6% of patients with squamous cell carcinoma had VTE (P<0.05). The incidence of VTE in stages I, II, III, and IV of all patients was 8.4%, 7.3%, 13%, and 7.5%, respectively (P=0.007) respectively. However, there was no significant difference in the three years overall survival of lung cancer patients with and without VTE.