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BACKGROUND: Patients with haematological malignancies often develop thrombocytopenia as a consequence of either their disease or its treatment. Platelet transfusions are commonly given to raise a low platelet count and reduce the risk of clinical bleeding (prophylaxis) or stop active bleeding (therapy). Recent studies have shown that many patients continue to experience bleeding despite the use of prophylactic platelet transfusions. Tranexamic acid is an anti-fibrinolytic, which reduces the breakdown of clots formed in response to bleeding. Anti-fibrinolytics have been shown to prevent bleeding, decrease blood loss and use of red cell transfusions in elective and emergency surgery, and are used widely in these settings. The aim of this trial is to test whether giving tranexamic acid to patients receiving treatment for haematological malignancies reduces the risk of bleeding or death and the need for platelet transfusions. METHODS: This is a multinational randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel, superiority trial. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive tranexamic acid (given intravenously or orally) or a matching placebo in a 1:1 ratio, stratified by site. Patients with haematological malignancies receiving intensive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation (or both) who are at least 18 years of age and expected to become severely thrombocytopenic for at least 5 days will be eligible for this trial. The primary outcome of the trial is the proportion of patients who died or had bleeding of World Health Organization grade 2 or above during the first 30 days of the trial. We will measure the rates of bleeding daily by using a short, structured assessment of bleeding, and we will record the number of transfusions given to patients. We will assess the risk of arterial and venous thrombosis for 120 days from the start of trial treatment. DISCUSSION: This trial will assess the safety and efficacy of using prophylactic tranexamic acid during a period of intensive chemotherapy and associated thrombocytopenia in people with haematological disorders. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was prospectively registered on Current Controlled Trials on 25 March 2015 (ISRCTN73545489) and is also registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03136445).

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s13063-019-3663-2

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trials

Publication Date

15/10/2019

Volume

20

Keywords

Anti-fibrinolytic, Bleeding, Chemotherapy, Haematological malignancy, Haematopoietic stem cell transplant, Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Thrombocytopenia, Tranexamic acid