A prospective study investigating COVID-19 risk in cancer patients showed that patients with different tumour types have differing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 phenotypes, according to an article published in Lancet Oncology.
The study compared adult patients with cancer (n=1,044) enrolled in the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (UKCCMP) with a parallel non-COVID-19 control population (n=282,878). The effect of tumour features (primary subtype and stage) and patient demographics (age and sex) on the risk and trajectory of COVID-19 disease were analysed.
The results show that 319 (30.6%) of 1,044 patients in the UKCCMP cohort died, of whom 295 (92.5%) had a cause of death recorded as due to COVID-19. The all-cause case-fatality rate in patients with cancer after SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly associated with increasing age. Patients with haematological cancers had a more severe COVID-19 disease trajectory and required more intensive clinical support, with additional risk conferred by recent chemotherapy use.
These findings indicate that patients with different tumour types have variable SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease phenotypes. The researchers created risk tables for patients with cancer, accounting for age, sex, and tumour subtype, which could allow clinicians to have informed risk-benefit discussions with patients.