Purpose of the Study To evaluate the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who take megestrol acetate as an appetite stimulant.
Material and Methods A retrospective study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was performed to determine the incidence of DVT. We reviewed medical records of patients with NSCLC who were treated with and without megestrol acetate as an appetite stimulant during the course of their treatment or follow-up. Cochran-Mantel-Hansel statistics were performed.
Results We reviewed the charts of 179 patients with NSCLC. Eighty-six patients received megestrol acetate during the course of treatment or follow-up, whereas 93 did not. Within the treatment group, 28 patients were female and 58 were male. In the control group, 43 patients were female and 50 were male. The frequency of DVT was 3.4 times higher in the treatment group as compared to the control group, adjusting for gender (p < .02). Similarly, the frequency of DVT was 3.3 times higher in the treatment group as compared to the control group adjusting for stage (p < .038).
Conclusion After adjusting for gender or stage, the incidence of DVT appears to be higher for patients with NSCLC who took megestrol acetate as compared to those who did not. Since megestrol acetate was being used as an appetite stimulant, it is possible that some of the observed differences were due to differences in the performance status of the two groups. Further prospective study of the risks and benefits of megestrol acetate as an appetite stimulant in patients with advanced NSCLC is warranted.
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