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Cancer Treat Res Commun ; 25: 100261, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956074


BACKGROUND: UK COVID-19 mortality rates are amongst the highest globally. Controversy exists on the vulnerability of thoracic cancer patients. We describe the characteristics and sequelae of patients with thoracic cancer treated at a UK cancer centre infected with COVID-19. METHODS: Patients undergoing care for thoracic cancer diagnosed with COVID-19 (RT-PCR/radiology/clinically) between March-June 2020 were included. Data were extracted from patient records. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were included: 14 (43%) diagnosed by RT-PCR, 18 (57%) by radiology and/or convincing symptoms. 88% had advanced thoracic malignancies. Eleven of 14 (79%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and 12 of 18 (56%) patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically were hospitalised, of which four (29%) and 2 (11%) patients required high-dependency/intensive care respectively. Three (21%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and 2 (11%) patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically required non-invasive ventilation; none were intubated. Complications included pneumonia and sepsis (43% and 14% respectively in patients diagnosed by RT-PCR; 17% and 11% respectively in patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically). In patients receiving active cancer treatment, therapy was delayed/ceased in 10/12 (83%) and 7/11 (64%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and radiology/clinically respectively. Nine (28%) patients died; all were smokers. Median time from symptom onset to death was 7 days (range 3-37). CONCLUSIONS: The immediate morbidity from COVID-19 is high in thoracic cancer patients. Hospitalisation and treatment interruption rates were high. Improved risk-stratification models for UK cancer patients are urgently needed to guide safe cancer-care delivery without compromising efficacy.

COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thoracic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Thoracic Neoplasms/complications , Thoracic Neoplasms/virology , United Kingdom/epidemiology