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Thrombosis Risk Associated with Head and Neck Cancer: A Review

Aix Marseille Univ, INSERM 1263, INRA, Center for CardioVascular and Nutrition Research (C2VN), 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille, France
Department of Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Army Training Hospital, Laveran, 13013 Marseille, France
Department of Digestive Surgery, Timone University Hospital, AP-HM, 13005 Marseille, France
Laboratoire d’Hématologie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire Conception, 385 Boulevard Baille, 13385 Marseille, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2838;
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Basis of Thrombotic Diseases)
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication for cancer patients. VTE-associated risk varies according to the type of tumor disease. Head and neck cancer is a common cancer worldwide, and most tumors are squamous cell carcinomas due to tobacco and alcohol abuse. The risk of VTE associated with head and neck (H&N) cancer is considered empirically low, but despite the high incidence of H&N cancer, few data are available on this cancer; thus, it is difficult to state the risk of VTE. Our review aims to clarify this situation and tries to assess the real VTE risk associated with H&N cancer. We report that most clinical studies have concluded that there is a very low thrombosis risk associated with H&N cancer. Even with the biases that often exist, this clinical review seems to confirm that the risk of VTE was empirically hypothesized. Furthermore, we highlight that H&N cancer has all the biological features of a cancer associated with a high thrombosis risk, including a strong expression of procoagulant proteins, modified thrombosis/fibrinolysis mechanisms, and secretions of procoagulant microparticles and procoagulant cytokines. Thus, this is a paradoxical situation, and some undiscovered mechanisms that could explain this clinical biological ambivalence might exist. View Full-Text
Keywords: Head and neck neoplasms; venous thromboembolism; squamous cell carcinoma; thrombosis; cancer Head and neck neoplasms; venous thromboembolism; squamous cell carcinoma; thrombosis; cancer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Haen, P.; Mege, D.; Crescence, L.; Dignat-George, F.; Dubois, C.; Panicot-Dubois, L. Thrombosis Risk Associated with Head and Neck Cancer: A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2838.

AMA Style

Haen P, Mege D, Crescence L, Dignat-George F, Dubois C, Panicot-Dubois L. Thrombosis Risk Associated with Head and Neck Cancer: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(11):2838.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haen, Pierre; Mege, Diane; Crescence, Lydie; Dignat-George, Françoise; Dubois, Christophe; Panicot-Dubois, Laurence. 2019. "Thrombosis Risk Associated with Head and Neck Cancer: A Review" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, no. 11: 2838.

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