Washington: A gene mutation can dramatically increase the risk of blood clots in women undergoing breast cancer therapy. In a study, researchers found that women taking tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer who developed blood clots were more likely to carry a gene mutation for clotting than women taking tamoxifen who did not develop blood clots.
However, even though half the women in this study had also received chemotherapy, the study showed no statistically significant difference in chemotherapy exposure between the women who developed TEs and those who did not. So chemotherapy, the researchers concluded, was unlikely to explain the prevalence of the FVL mutation among women with TEs in this study. The risk of TE was also associated with smoking and family and personal history of TEs. The researchers also concluded that: "These data may prove useful to women who must decide between tamoxifen and an effective, essentially non-thrombogenic, alternative adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, such as aromatase inhibitors for postmenopausal women and gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs or oophorectomy for premenopausal women." According to the authors, the study`s limitations include lack of family history data on TE and other hereditary factors leading to coagulopathies. The researchers also did not collect data on other potential TE risk factors, such as body mass index and recent surgery. The study has been published June 16 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute. ANI
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