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1.
Br J Cancer ; 125(7): 939-947, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360191

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Using an updated dataset with more patients and extended follow-up, we further established cancer patient characteristics associated with COVID-19 death. METHODS: Data on all cancer patients with a positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction swab for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) at Guy's Cancer Centre and King's College Hospital between 29 February and 31 July 2020 was used. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to identify which factors were associated with COVID-19 mortality. RESULTS: Three hundred and six SARS-CoV-2-positive cancer patients were included. Seventy-one had mild/moderate and 29% had severe COVID-19. Seventy-two patients died of COVID-19 (24%), of whom 35 died <7 days. Male sex [hazard ratio (HR): 1.97 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-3.38)], Asian ethnicity [3.42 (1. 59-7.35)], haematological cancer [2.03 (1.16-3.56)] and a cancer diagnosis for >2-5 years [2.81 (1.41-5.59)] or ≥5 years were associated with an increased mortality. Age >60 years and raised C-reactive protein (CRP) were also associated with COVID-19 death. Haematological cancer, a longer-established cancer diagnosis, dyspnoea at diagnosis and raised CRP were indicative of early COVID-19-related death in cancer patients (<7 days from diagnosis). CONCLUSIONS: Findings further substantiate evidence for increased risk of COVID-19 mortality for male and Asian cancer patients, and those with haematological malignancies or a cancer diagnosis >2 years. These factors should be accounted for when making clinical decisions for cancer patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hematologic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Hematologic Neoplasms/pathology , Hematologic Neoplasms/virology , Hospitals , Humans , London/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/virology , Risk Factors
2.
Ecancermedicalscience ; 14: 1022, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-44724

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cancer and transplant patients with COVID-19 have a higher risk of developing severe and even fatal respiratory diseases, especially as they may be treated with immune-suppressive or immune-stimulating drugs. This review focuses on the effects of these drugs on host immunity against COVID-19. METHODS: Using Ovid MEDLINE, we reviewed current evidence for immune-suppressing or -stimulating drugs: cytotoxic chemotherapy, low-dose steroids, tumour necrosis factorα (TNFα) blockers, interlukin-6 (IL-6) blockade, Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, IL-1 blockade, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, anti-CD20 and CTLA4-Ig. RESULTS: 89 studies were included. Cytotoxic chemotherapy has been shown to be a specific inhibitor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in in vitro studies, but no specific studies exist as of yet for COVID-19. No conclusive evidence for or against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of COVID-19 patients is available, nor is there evidence indicating that TNFα blockade is harmful to patients in the context of COVID-19. COVID-19 has been observed to induce a pro-inflammatory cytokine generation and secretion of cytokines, such as IL-6, but there is no evidence of the beneficial impact of IL-6 inhibitors on the modulation of COVID-19. Although there are potential targets in the JAK-STAT pathway that can be manipulated in treatment for coronaviruses and it is evident that IL-1 is elevated in patients with a coronavirus, there is currently no evidence for a role of these drugs in treatment of COVID-19. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging decision-making about treatment of critically unwell patients. Low-dose prednisolone and tacrolimus may have beneficial impacts on COVID-19. The mycophenolate mofetil picture is less clear, with conflicting data from pre-clinical studies. There is no definitive evidence that specific cytotoxic drugs, low-dose methotrexate for auto-immune disease, NSAIDs, JAK kinase inhibitors or anti-TNFα agents are contraindicated. There is clear evidence that IL-6 peak levels are associated with severity of pulmonary complications.

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