Venous thromboembolism in patients operated for primary lung cancer

Study design

Observational cohort study.

About the project

Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer type worldwide with more than 2 million new cases each year, and the leading cause of cancer death. VTE is a common complication in cancer patients, and the development of VTE may have substantial impact on morbidity, provision of cancer treatment, and the quality of life after cancer.

The risk of VTE is increased by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, certain pathologic types, advanced cancer stage and surgery. An increasing proportion of patients with primary lung cancer undergo definitive surgery, currently 25-30%, and VTE is suspected to be an underdetected problem. Evidence on the risk and timing of VTE in relation to patients undergoing surgery for primary lung cancer is sparse.

All studies will be conducted as nationwide cohort studies by using the Danish Lung Cancer Registry (DLCR) to identify all patients with primary lung cancer in Denmark, year 2003-2018. The registry include data on approximately 80,000 patients of which approximately 15,000 patients underwent surgery. Records from the DLCR will be linked with other national registries to identify additional diagnoses (e.g. VTE and comorbidities).

Knowledge acquired in this project will be of major clinical relevance. Currently, patients with primary lung cancer do not receive thromboprophylaxis after discharge, but knowledge of risks and timing of VTE may identify surgical patients for whom thromboprophylaxis and follow-up is indicated.


The overall objective of this project is to provide up-to-date data on risks and prognosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients operated for primary lung cancer.


The project is a collaboration between the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Department, Aarhus University Hospital and Aalborg Thrombosis Research Unit, Aalborg University, with supervisors from both institutions. The PhD study is part of a larger Danish Nationwide research initiative entitled: Epidemiology, treatment and prognosis of venous thromboembolism in patients with lung cancer. Furthermore, international collaboration with Simon Noble, Professor, MD, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, has been established.

Project group

  • Amalie Lambert Kristensen, MD, PhD Student
  • Mette Søgaard, PhD, Associated Professor, Senior Researcher
    Aalborg Thrombosis Research Unit, Aalborg University and Department of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Flemming Skjøth, PhD, Associated professor, Senior Statistician
    Aalborg Thrombosis Research Unit, Aalborg University and Unit of Clinical Biostatistics, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Thomas Decker Christensen, MD, PhD, DMSc, Clinical Professor and Chair, Consultant


The project has received funding from Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University and Agnes Niebuhr Anderssons Foundation.



Project period

Start: 1 August 2021
End: 31 July 2024


Project Leader

Principal Investigator & Supervisor

Thomas Decker Christensen

Clinical professor and chair