Which breast cancer patients are at increased mortality risk with COVID-19?

  • Vuagnat P & al.
  • Breast Cancer Res
  • 28 May 2020

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Mortality from noncancer comorbidities and advanced age is increased in the small proportion of patients with breast cancer who have COVID-19.

Why this matters

  • Results are from 1 of the first large cohort studies of patients with breast cancer who have been evaluated for COVID-19.
  • Close monitoring and aggressive treatment may be warranted for these patients with comorbidities and advanced age.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study; 15,600 patients with breast cancer, treated at Institut Curie hospitals, Paris.
  • Patients were evaluated for COVID-19 during a 4-month period.
  • Funding: Institut Curie; other university hospitals.

Key results

  • 76 of 15,600 patients with breast cancer had suspected COVID-19 and were included.
  • 59/76 had COVID-19 based on viral RNA testing or typical radiologic signs.
  • No association was found between prior radiation therapy fields or extent of radiation therapy sequelae and the reach of lung lesions from COVID-19.
  • 28/59 (47%) of patients were hospitalized. 
  • 6/59 patients were admitted to ICU.
  • At publication, 76% were recovering or cured, 17% were still under observation, and 4/59 (6.8%) had died from COVID-19.
  • All 4 deceased patients had significant noncancer comorbidities.
  • Univariate analysis linked hypertension and advanced age (>70 years) to higher risk for ICU admission or death (both P<.05>

Limitations

  • No controls.
  • Small numbers of infected patients.
  • Observational.