- Patients with cancer, especially those receiving active treatment, have increased susceptibility to COVID-19 and complications from the disease.
- Strong personal protection measures against the virus that causes COVID-19 are warranted for patients with cancer and for cancer survivors.
Why this matters
- Patients with cancer are often in a systemic immunosuppressive state because of malignancy or anticancer treatments, including chemotherapy and surgery.
- A prospective study of a cohort of 1590 patients with COVID-19 from China, 18 with a history of cancer.
- Funding: China National Science Foundation and the Key Project of Guangzhou Scientific Research Project.
- Patients with COVID-19 and cancer vs patients with COVID-19 and no cancer had:
- Significantly higher risk for “severe events” (39% vs 8%; P=.0003).
- Rapid deterioration in clinical status (median time to severe events, 13 days vs 43 days).
- Patients treated with chemotherapy or surgery in the past month had a higher risk for clinically severe events than those not treated recently (75% vs 43%).
- Older age remained the only risk factor for severe events (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 0.97-2.12) after adjustment for age and smoking history.
- Higher median age of patients with cancer may have contributed to the poor prognosis.
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