In addition to the biennial event, the International Conference on Thrombosis and Hemostasis Issues in Cancer (ICTHIC) has now also become an online publication with the aim of keeping you updated on the most innovative research and news in the field.
The latest edition of ICTHIC (in its eighth year) took place in Bergamo on April 8-10, 2016, attracting over 550 clinicians and researchers from across the world. The most important international and national experts who participated boasted expertise in fields ranging from the biological mechanisms underlying the cancer-thrombosis relationship to the prevention and therapy of thrombo-haemorrhagic complications of cancer patients.
Thrombosis: The second cause of death in cancer patients, after cancer
Thrombosis and bleeding remain, after cancer itself, the second cause of death in patients with cancer, and this condition sometimes dramatically deteriorates quality of life and overall life expectancy. This is because many tumour cells release substances that induce an inappropriate activation of blood coagulation, favouring thrombosis.
Activation of tumour growth by the coagulation system
The activation of the blood coagulation system acts in favouring tumour growth. Thus, a vicious cycle occurs, triggering the mechanisms of thrombosis, which contribute to the worsening of disease progression. The aim of scientific research is to break this cycle and, through a deeper understanding of these phenomena, develop effective prevention strategies and antithrombotic therapies. By acting directly on the blood coagulation system, it may be possible to interrupt the mechanism triggering tumour growth and proliferation.
ICTHIC: fertile ground of the latest discoveries in the field
Over the years, some of the latest major discoveries in the thrombosis and cancer research field were presented for the first time at ICTHIC: from the discovery of new hemostasis mechanisms involved in the development and progression of cancer to current clinical trials featuring the new anticoagulant drugs.
Tribute to Simon Karpatkin
At the last edition of ICTHIC, Wolfram Ruf (Mainz, Germany) won the Karpatkin Award thanks to his studies that have led to the discovery of alternative pathways through which the “tissue factor,” a procoagulant protein, triggers specific metabolic pathways linked to tumour growth, irrespective of its role in coagulation. We look forward to discovering who will be winner of the award at the 9th ICTHIC in 2018.
DOACs: Anticoagulation clinical trials are changing
This historic milestone coincides with the large-scale introduction of the new DOACs (direct-acting anticoagulants) for prophylaxis and thrombosis therapies. There are currently no specific indications on the use of DOACs in cancer patients, however the design of new clinical trials was presented at the 8th ICTHIC Conference in 2016. The aim: to evaluate the efficacy of DOACs in preventing and treating venous thromboembolism in the oncology field.
Identifying high-risk subjects
While we await the results of the clinical studies testing the efficacy of the new DOACs, which will hopefully lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for cancer patients, we must not forget that it is very important to identify the highest risk subjects.