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The authors reported their experience of COVID-19 among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in China. The prevalence of infection was higher in patient with CML than in the general population but lower than in hospitalized patients with hematologic cancers. Patients were at increased risk if they had advanced-stage CML.
Patients with advanced-stage CML may benefit from increased surveillance and possibly isolation to prevent COVID-19.
– Neil Majithia, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
We studied by questionnaire 530 subjects with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in Hubei Province during the recent SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Five developed confirmed (N = 4) or probable COVID-19 (N = 1). Prevalence of COVID-19 in our subjects, 0.9% (95% Confidence Interval, 0.1, 1.8%) was ninefold higher than 0.1% (0, 0.12%) reported in normals but lower than 10% (6, 17%) reported in hospitalised persons with other haematological cancers or normal health-care providers, 7% (4, 12%). Co-variates associated with an increased risk of developing COVID-19 amongst persons with CML were exposure to someone infected with SARS-CoV-2 (P = 0.037), no complete haematologic response (P = 0.003) and co-morbidity(ies) (P = 0.024). There was also an increased risk of developing COVID-19 in subjects in advanced phase CML (P = 0.004) even when they achieved a complete cytogenetic response or major molecular response at the time of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. 1 of 21 subjects receiving 3rd generation tyrosine kinase-inhibitor (TKI) developed COVID-19 versus 3 of 346 subjects receiving imatinib versus 0 of 162 subjects receiving 2nd generation TKIs (P = 0.096). Other co-variates such as age and TKI-therapy duration were not significantly associated with an increased risk of developing COVID-19. Persons with these risk factors may benefit from increased surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infection and possible protective isolation.