Study: Patients with Cancer and COVID-19 Experience Higher Mortality

Results of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study were presented during the virtual science program of the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

A recent study found 10.4% of 1018 patients with both cancer and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have died, a significantly higher percentage than was previously reported for the general population.1

Results of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study were presented during the virtual science program of the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The cohort study includes patients with active or prior hematologic or invasive solid malignancies and a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Of the 1018 cases included between March and April 2020, the median age was 66 years, and breast and prostate cancers were the most prevalent (20% and 16%, respectively). Nearly half (43%) of the patients were on active anticancer treatment.1

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the United States has seen a 5.8% mortality rate for every 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19.2 At the time of the cohort data analysis, 10.4% of the patients had died and 26% met the composite outcome of death, severe illness requiring hospitalization, and/or mechanical ventilation.1

Notably, independent factors associated with an increased 30-day mortality were age, male sex, former smoking, ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) performance status, active malignancy, and receipt of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine. Tumor type, race and ethnicity, obesity, the number of comorbidities, recent surgery, and type of active cancer therapy were not significant factors.1

Other research has noted a link between prior chemotherapy and an increased risk of death due to COVID-19, finding that patients who had received chemotherapy within 3 months of being diagnosed with COVID-19 had a 64% increased risk of dying from the virus.3

Still, the authors noted that there is very limited data on patients with both COVID-19 and cancer. They added that longer follow-up is needed in order to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on cancer outcomes, including the ability to continue specific treatments.1

REFERENCES

  • Warner J, Rubenstein S, Grivas P, et al. Clinical impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer: Data from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) [ASCO abstract LBA110]. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(suppl). doi:10.1200/JCO.2020.38.18_suppl.2000.
  • Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. COVID-19 Mortality Analyses; updated June 3, 2020. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality. Accessed June 3, 2020.
  • Coppock K. Prior Chemotherapy Linked to Increased Risk of Death with COVID-19. Pharmacy Times; June 1, 2020. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/conferences/asco-2020/prior-chemotherapy-linked-to-increased-risk-of-death-with-covid-19. Accessed June 3, 2020.