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15-09-2020 | COVID-19 | News

News in brief

COVID-19: High mortality risk for cancer patients confirmed

Author: Shreeya Nanda


medwireNews: A pooled analysis has confirmed the high mortality rate among adults with cancer and comorbid COVID-19.

Of the 18,650 patients included in the analysis, 4243 died, giving a case fatality rate of 25.6%, report Evandro de Azambuja (Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium) and co-researchers in the European Journal of Cancer.

They therefore believe that “[a]ppropriate and aggressive preventive measures must be taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in patients with cancer, and to optimally manage those who do contract the infection.”

de Azambuja and colleagues pooled data from 52 studies – reported in journals, at conferences, or as preprints up to 16 July 2020 – that included at least 10 adult patients with solid or hematologic tumors and a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The I2 values for both the main analysis and a sensitivity analysis that excluded studies with fewer than 100 participants were below the threshold of 50.0% that indicated “substantial heterogeneity,” at 48.9% and 49.7%, respectively.

These findings “clearly show that the mortality is high among patients with cancer and COVID-19, and [that cancer] should be considered as an independent risk factor, in addition to older age, male sex, black race, current smoker, [and] other co-morbidities,” conclude the researchers.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2020 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

15 September 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Eur J Cancer 2020; doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2020.08.011