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Research highlights new approaches to prevent blood clots
Date:12/6/2008

(SAN FRANCISCO, December 7, 2008) The largest study ever to examine the preventive use of blood-thinning medication to help prevent deadly blood clots in patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy will be presented in a press conference on Sunday, December 7, at 9:30 a.m., during the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Francisco, CA. Additional research being featured at the press conference includes studies that examine the use of three different investigational blood-thinning medications that belong to a new class of therapies called Factor Xa inhibitors. These studies evaluated the effectiveness of these medications in preventing blood clots: following major orthopedic surgery; in patients with atrial fibrillation; and in patients with deep-vein thrombosis.

Blood clotting, or coagulation, is an important process that prevents excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured. Usually, the body naturally dissolves the clot when the injury has healed; however, when a clot does not dissolve naturally, it can become extremely dangerous. Deep-vein thrombosis, a type of blood clot that typically forms in a major vein of the leg, and pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot detaches from its point of origin and travels to the lungs where it becomes wedged and prevents adequate blood flow, are known collectively as venous thromboembolism.

"Venous thromboembolism is a serious public health problem that affects almost 1 million Americans each year and is responsible for more deaths each year than breast cancer, HIV disease, and motor vehicle crashes combined," said J. Evan Sadler, MD, moderator of the press conference and Professor of Medicine and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO. "The hematology community is committed to continuously improving treatments for these patients, and the exciting research presented today is another step for
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Contact: Laura Stark
lstark@hematology.org
415-978-3505
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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