WAVe Study - Weight Adjusted Dalteparin for Patients Over 90 kg With Acute Cancer Associated Venous Thromboembolism (WAVe)

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Updated on 5 March 2022
primary cancer
venous thromboembolism
deep vein thrombosis
pulmonary embolism
blood clot


Cancer patients that develop blood clots are treated with low molecular weight heparin injections (LMWH). One kind of these LMWHs, dalteparin, has its dose determined based on a patient's weight using a formula of 200 international units (IU) per kilogram (kg). The current dosing of dalteparin approved by Health Canada has a maximum daily dose of 18 000 IU/day which is weight-adjusted for patients up to 90 kg. Any patient weighing more than 90 kg would take the same dosage regardless of their weight. The aim of this study is to assess the safety of using weight-adjusted dalteparin in cancer-associated venous thromboembolism patients that weigh more than 90 kg.


The study is designed as a multicentre prospective cohort study with multiple Canadian sites. It will be initiated at The Ottawa Hospital prior to being offered externally. After obtaining informed consent, and confirming eligibility, participants weighing more than 90 kg with acute cancer-associated thrombosis will be treated with therapeutic weight-adjusted dalteparin (subcutaneous once daily injection, or twice daily, if the conditions of the participant do not allow once daily injection as per clinical judgement) beginning at enrolment (within 12 hours) and continuing until Day 30 visit. Subjects will receive therapeutic doses of dalteparin at a dose of approximately 200 IU/kg SC daily (up to 33,000 IU) for one month. Following this study period of 30 days ( 4 days), patients will be followed for 5 months. During the follow-up period, each patient will pursue his/her treatment as per usual standard treatment protocols provided at each institution. Treatment used and clinical outcomes will be collected at the end of the follow-up period.

The majority of Canadian Thrombosis specialists use weight adjusted dosing of dalteparin in patients weighing more than 90 kg with cancer-associated VTE. No expert recommends capping the dose of dalteparin to 18,000 IU in patients weighing over 90 kg as suggested by the product monograph. However, the risk of major bleeding episodes in patients over 90 kg receiving weight-adjusted LMWH remains unclear. The estimated rate of major bleeding episodes of patients with cancer associated VTE (Mean weight 79.1 kg) managed with therapeutic dose of dalteparin is 3.6% (95% CI: 1.9 to 6.2). We hypothesize that the rate of major bleeding events will be similar in patients (> 90 kg) with cancer-associated VTE treated with dalteparin 200 IU/kg daily (up to 33,000 IU). We plan to recruit 150 patients in this cohort study. We expect 6 major bleeding events. This would provide us with an overall bleeding event of 4% with an upper bound of the confidence interval of 8.5%). An informal survey of Canadian thrombosis expert has demonstrated that clinicians would feel reassured and continue to use weight-adjusted dalteparin in cancer patients weighing more than 90kg if the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval is less than 9% (i.e. < 3% possible absolute rate difference).

Condition Cancer, Venous Thromboembolism, Obesity
Treatment dalteparin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03297359
SponsorOttawa Hospital Research Institute
Last Modified on5 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Known pathologically-confirmed cancer (other than basal-cell or squamous-cell carcinoma of the skin)
Confirmed symptomatic or incidental deep vein thrombosis requiring treatment, or confirmed symptomatic or incidental pulmonary embolism of a segmental or larger pulmonary artery
Weight > 90 kg
Age 18 years
Hemoglobin 80 g/L
Able and willing to comply with study procedures and follow-up examinations contained within the written consent form

Exclusion Criteria

Acute VTE managed with thrombectomy, insertion of an inferior vena cava filter or with the use of thrombolytic agents
More than 72 hours pre-treatment with therapeutic dosage of other LMWH, direct oral anticoagulants or vitamin K antagonists prior to enrolment to manage the current VTE event (unless the participant has been treated with weight-adjusted doses of commercial dalteparin in consistency with the dosing regime outlined in the protocol up to Day 7 visit [2 days])
Contraindication to heparin therapy
history of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) as reported by patient
platelet count of less than 50 x 109/L
actively bleeding
reported history of severe uncontrolled hypertension
documented peptic ulcer within 6 weeks
reported history of severe hepatic failure
creatinine clearance of < 30 ml/min as calculated by the Cockcroft-Gault formula
heparin allergy
Other contraindication to anticoagulation
An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status of 3 or 4 at the time of study enrolment
Life expectancy < 1 month
Women of childbearing age without proper contraceptive measures and women who are pregnant or breast feeding
Participating in another interventional trial that may result in co-intervention or contamination (to be determined by sponsor)
Unable/unwilling to provide informed consent
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