In these last months, during which COVID-19 has completely turned our lives upside down, the research on cancer and thrombosis did not stop.
The research team, led by Dr. Anna Falanga, has continued to work and we are proud to present you the first results of the HYPERCAN Study, a project supported by our Foundation.
The HYPERCAN study (HYPERcoagulation in CANcer), started in 2012 thanks to the contribution of AIRC and is currently supported by ARTET, it is an Italian multicenter study coordinated by Anna Falanga, Director of the Transfusion Center of Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, aimed to study the correlation between the state of hypercoagulability (strong activation of blood clotting) and the development of a neoplasm.
The main objective of the study is to establish whether biomarkers of coagulation activation can early identify the presence of a tumor in healthy subjects or if, in subjects already suffering from cancer, can identify those patients who have a higher risk of relapse or are resistant to anticancer treatment. In the HYPERCAN study, approximately 10,000 healthy subjects and more than 4,000 patients with cancer (breast, lung, gastric and colorectal) were recruited. Analysis of data for each group are in progress.
In the group of patients with limited, non-metastatic and surgically removed breast cancer, important results emerged, which have recently been published in two important international journals: Haematologica and Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
In the first study, an hypercoagulable state before starting post-surgery systemic chemotherapy was able to predict, together with other tumor markers, which women were at high risk of recurrence. In particular, blood levels of D-dimer and fibrinogen, two coagulation proteins, correlate with the size of the primary tumor and the presence of lymph nodes metastases. In addition, the increase in the levels of the fragment 1 + 2 of prothrombin represents a risk factor for the recurrence of the disease in the first 4 years after the removal of the tumor.
In the second study, in the same population of patients with limited breast cancer, the thrombin generation test, a global coagulation test proved essential to identify patients at high risk of early recurrence, i.e. in the first 2 years after surgery.
These results highlight the importance of studying and monitoring coagulation plasma biomarkers to evaluate tumor prognosis. They also underline the important role of scientific research in this field, not only to understand the mechanisms of tumor progression, but also to generate ready-to-apply tools to improve patient care.