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The authors report the outcomes of 107 patients with cancer and COVID-19 treated at five hospitals in Wuhan City, China. At the time of COVID-19 diagnosis, a third of the patients were receiving active anticancer therapy. COVID-19 was severe in approximately half of the patients, and severe disease was more frequently observed among patients on active therapy compared with those on follow-up (65% vs 46%). Anticancer treatment was associated with inferior overall survival.
Cancer patients are susceptible to severe COVID-19, and the use of anticancer treatment was associated with worse survival outcomes.
– Paul J. Hampel, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Patients with cancer have a higher risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than noncancer patients. The authors conducted a multicenter retrospective study to investigate the clinical manifestations and outcomes of patients with cancer who are diagnosed with COVID-19.
The authors reviewed the medical records of hospitalized patients who were treated at 5 hospitals in Wuhan City, China, between January 5 and March 18, 2020. Clinical parameters relating to cancer history (type and treatment) and COVID-19 were collected. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Secondary analyses were the association between clinical factors and severe COVID-19 and OS.
A total of 107 patients with cancer were diagnosed with COVID-19, with a median age of 66 years (range, 37-98 years). Lung (21 patients; 19.6%), gastrointestinal (20 patients; 18.7%), and genitourinary (20 patients; 18.7%) cancers were the most common cancer diagnoses. A total of 37 patients (34.6%) were receiving active anticancer treatment when diagnosed with COVID-19, whereas 70 patients (65.4%) were on follow-up. Overall, 52.3% of patients (56 patients) developed severe COVID-19; this rate was found to be higher among patients receiving anticancer treatment than those on follow-up (64.9% vs 45.7%), which corresponded to an inferior OS in the former subgroup of patients (hazard ratio, 3.365; 95% CI, 1.455-7.782 [P = .005]). The detrimental effect of anticancer treatment on OS was found to be independent of exposure to systemic therapy (case fatality rate of 33.3% [systemic therapy] vs 43.8% [nonsystemic therapy]).
The results of the current study demonstrated that >50.0% of infected patients with cancer are susceptible to severe COVID-19. This risk is aggravated by simultaneous anticancer treatment and portends for a worse survival, despite treatment for COVID-19.