Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Gene linked to blood clots in cancer patients

  • Comment

The risk of developing blood clots while undergoing breast cancer therapy can be dramatically increased due to a gene found mostly in women of Scandinavian origin, according to research.

Scientists have found that patients treated with breast cancer drug tamoxifen are five times more likely to develop blood clots if they had the Factor V Leiden (FVL) gene.

Conditions that can occur as a result of the blood clot include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal clot on the lung.

FVL, which is passed down through families, is most common among people of Scandinavian or northern European ancestry, and around 5% of the UK population have the mutation.

Previous studies have shown that tamoxifen doubles the risk of a blood clot, or thromboembolism, in women overall.

The new research shows that it has a much bigger impact on patients with FVL.

Scientists in the US looked at 412 women who were treated with tamoxifen after undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

A total of 141 of the women, whose mid-range age was 64, developed blood clots.

The researchers, led by Dr Judy Garber, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, wrote in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute: “These data may prove useful to women who must decide between tamoxifen and an effective, essentially non-thrombogenic, alternative adjuvant therapy for breast cancer.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.