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Rates of COVID-19-related Outcomes in Cancer compared to non-Cancer Patients

By Lova Sun, Surya Sanjna, Anh Le, Heena Desai, Abigail Doucette, Peter Gabriel, Marylyn Ritchie, Daniel Rader, Ivan Maillard, Erin Bange, Alexander Huang, Robert H Vonderheide, Angela DeMichele, Anurag Verma, Ronac Mamtani, Kara N. Maxwell

Posted 16 Aug 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.14.20174961

Cancer patients are a vulnerable population postulated to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in cancer patients may be attributable to age, comorbidities, smoking, healthcare exposure, and cancer treatments, and partially to the cancer itself. Most studies to date have focused on hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, thereby limiting the generalizability and interpretability of the association between cancer and COVID-19 severity. We compared outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 323 patients enrolled prior to the pandemic in a large academic biobank (n=67 cancer patients and n=256 non-cancer patients). After adjusting for demographics, smoking status, and comorbidities, a diagnosis of cancer was independently associated with higher odds of hospitalization (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.12-4.18) and 30-day mortality (OR 5.67, CI 1.49-21.59). These associations were primarily driven by patients with active cancer. These results emphasize the critical importance of preventing SARS-CoV-2 exposure and mitigating infection in cancer patients.

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