Can Megestrol Acetate Induce Thrombosis in Advanced Oncology Patients Receiving Chemotherapy?

  • Ordu, Cetin (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Pilanci, Kezban Nur (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Koksal, Ulkuhan Iner (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Okutur, Kerem (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Saglam, Sezer (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Tecimer, Coskun (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University) ;
  • Demir, Gokhan (Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Bilim University)
  • Published : 2015.01.06


Background: Megestrol acetate (MA) is a steroid origin medicine often used for control of cachexia in oncologic palliative care. Thrombosis is a common problem in oncology patients. One question is whether MA can cause thrombosis. This retrospective, registry-based analysis was therefore conducted to assess thrombotic processes in oncology patients using MA concurrent with chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: Data on oncology patients at the metastatic stage using MA were obtained from the archives of our center. Outcomes of patients were evaluated for thromboembolic events (VTEs) during treatment. Results: Ninety-seven oncology patients with a median age of 62 (33-84) years were included. During the median follow-up of 17 months, 58 (59.8%) died leaving 39 (31.2%) still alive. Median overall survival (OS) was 19 months (6-180). Mean time of MA use was 8.69 months(${\pm}3.53$), with a median dose of 160mg (range 160-480mg). Eleven VTEs were detected after MA use, 4 of these in pancreatic cancer cases. The patients with thrombosis non-significantly had worse OS, than those without thrombosis (p=0.106). Conclusions: This trial revealed that the 11.3% of all patients developed thrombosis,who had been treated with MA and chemotherapy concomittantly. There was no statistically significant difference regarding to occurrence of thrombotic process, among the patients receiving different chemotherapy regimens with MA concomittantly. Pancreatic cancer seemed to be related to thrombosis rather than MA use.


Megestrol acetate;oncology;thrombosis;palliative care;cancer cachexia


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