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1.
J Clin Med ; 10(21)2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480828

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Among the several therapeutic options assessed for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), tocilizumab (TCZ), an antagonist of the interleukine-6 receptor, has emerged as a promising therapeutic choice, especially for the severe form of the disease. Proper synthesis of the available randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is needed to inform clinical practice. METHODS: A systematic review with a meta-analysis of RCTs investigating the efficacy of TCZ in COVID-19 patients was conducted. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register were searched up until 30 April 2021. RESULTS: The database search yielded 2885 records; 11 studies were considered eligible for full-text review, and nine met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 3358 patients composed the TCZ arm, and 3131 the comparator group. The main outcome was all-cause mortality at 28-30 days. Subgroup analyses according to trials' and patients' features were performed. A trial sequential analysis (TSA) was also carried out to minimize type I and type II errors. According to the fixed-effect model approach, TCZ was associated with a better survival odds ratio (OR) (0.84; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-0.94; I2: 24% (low heterogeneity)). The result was consistent in the subgroup of severe disease (OR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.74-0.93; I2: 53% (moderate heterogeneity)). However, the TSA illustrated that the required information size was not met unless the study that was the major source of heterogeneity was omitted. CONCLUSIONS: TCZ may represent an important weapon against severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to consolidate this finding.

2.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 132, 2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166915

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has created unique challenges to healthcare systems throughout the world. Ensuring subjects' safety is mandatory especially in oncology, in consideration of cancer patients' particular frailty. We examined the proportion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgM and/or IgG positive subjects in three different groups from Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS "Fondazione G. Pascale" in Naples (Campania region, Italy): cancer patients treated with Innovative Immunotherapy (Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, ICIs), cancer patients undergoing standard Chemotherapies (CHTs) and healthcare providers. 9 out of 287 (3.1%) ICIs patients resulted positive, with a significant lower percentage in respect to CHTs patients (39 positive subjects out of 598, 6.5%) (p = 0.04). There was no statistically significant difference between ICIs cohort and healthcare providers, 48 out of 1050 resulting positive (4.6%). Performing a Propensity Score Matching based on gender and tumor stage, the effect of treatment on seropositivity was analyzed through a regression logistic model and the ICIs treatment resulted to be the only protective factor significantly (p = 0.03) associated with positivity (odds ratio-OR: 0.41; 95% confidence interval-CI 0.18-0.91). According to these preliminary data, ICIs would appear to be a protective factor against the onset of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
3.
J Immunother Cancer ; 9(2)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088281

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In ambulatory patients with cancer with asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, the safety of targeted therapies (TTs), chemotherapy (CT) or immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) therapy is still unknown. MATERIAL AND METHODS: From the start of the first epidemic wave of SARS-CoV-2 in Bergamo, Italy, we have prospectively screened all consecutive outpatients who presented for treatment to the Oncology Division of the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo for SARS-CoV-2 antigen expression. We identified patients treated with ICIs and compared these to patients with the same cancer subtypes treated with TTs or CT. RESULTS: Between March 5 and May 18, 293 consecutive patients (49% melanoma, 34% non-small cell lung cancer, 9% renal cell carcinoma, 8% other) were included in this study: 159 (54%), 50 (17%) and 84 (29%) received ICIs, CT or TTs, respectively. Overall 89 patients (30.0%) were SARS-CoV-2 positive. Mortality of SARS-CoV-2-positive patients was statistically significantly higher compared with SARS-CoV-2 negative patients (8/89 vs 3/204, respectively, Fisher's exact test p=0.004). All deaths were due to COVID-19. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were more frequent in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients compared with SARS-CoV-2-negative cases (Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) test p=0.0008). The incidence of SAEs in SARS-CoV-2 positive compared with SARS-CoV-2 negative patients was similar in ICI and CT patients (17.3% and 3.7% for positive and negative patients in ICIs and 15.4% and 2.7% in CT, Breslow-Day test p=0.891). No COVID-19-related SAEs were observed in the TTs patients. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of SAEs was higher for SARS-CoV-2-positive patients treated with ICIs and CT, mostly in advanced disease. No SAEs were observed in patients treated with TTs. SAEs were COVID-19 related rather than treatment related. Treatment with ICIs does not appear to significantly increase risk of SAEs compared with CT. This information should be considered when determining treatment options for patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Neoplasms/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Gastrointestinal Diseases/chemically induced , Humans , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/mortality , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate
4.
J Immunother Cancer ; 9(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1038424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with cancer who are infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are more likely to develop severe illness and die compared with those without cancer. The impact of immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) on the severity of COVID-19 illness is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether ICI confers an additional risk for severe COVID-19 in patients with cancer. METHODS: We analyzed data from 110 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 while on treatment with ICI without chemotherapy in 19 hospitals in North America, Europe and Australia. The primary objective was to describe the clinical course and to identify factors associated with hospital and intensive care (ICU) admission and mortality. FINDINGS: Thirty-five (32%) patients were admitted to hospital and 18 (16%) died. All patients who died had advanced cancer, and only four were admitted to ICU. COVID-19 was the primary cause of death in 8 (7%) patients. Factors independently associated with an increased risk for hospital admission were ECOG ≥2 (OR 39.25, 95% CI 4.17 to 369.2, p=0.0013), treatment with combination ICI (OR 5.68, 95% CI 1.58 to 20.36, p=0.0273) and presence of COVID-19 symptoms (OR 5.30, 95% CI 1.57 to 17.89, p=0.0073). Seventy-six (73%) patients interrupted ICI due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, 43 (57%) of whom had resumed at data cut-off. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19-related mortality in the ICI-treated population does not appear to be higher than previously published mortality rates for patients with cancer. Inpatient mortality of patients with cancer treated with ICI was high in comparison with previously reported rates for hospitalized patients with cancer and was due to COVID-19 in almost half of the cases. We identified factors associated with adverse outcomes in ICI-treated patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/immunology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
5.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 489, 2020 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992501

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 1918 an unknown infectious agent spread around the world infecting over one-third of the general population and killing almost 50 million people. Many countries were at war, the First World War. Since Spain was a neutral country and Spanish press could report about the infection without censorship, this condition is commonly remembered as "Spanish influenza". This review examines several aspects during the 1918 influenza pandemic to bring out evidences which might be useful to imagine the possible magnitude of the present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: In the first part of this review we will examine the origin of the SARS-Coronavirus-2 and 1918 Spanish Influenza Virus and the role played by host and environment in its diffusion. We will also include in our analysis an evaluation of different approaches utilized to restrain the spread of pandemic and to treat infected patients. In the second part, we will try to imagine the magnitude of the present COVID-19 pandemic and the possible measures able to restrain in the present environment its spread. RESULTS: Several factors characterize the outcome in a viral pandemic infection. They include the complete knowledge of the virus, the complete knowledge of the host and of the environment where the host lives and the pandemic develops. CONCLUSION: By comparing the situation seen in 1918 with the current one, we are now in a more favourable position. The experience of the past teaches us that their success is linked to a rapid, constant and lasting application. Then, rather than coercion, awareness of the need to observe such prevention measures works better.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919/history , Influenza, Human/history , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919/statistics & numerical data , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/virology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , Spain/epidemiology
6.
J Immunother Cancer ; 8(2)2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713881

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The inflammatory pathology observed in severe COVID-19 disease caused by the 2019 novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by elevated serum levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines, including interferon gamma, interleukin 8 (IL-8), and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Initial reports from the outbreak in Italy, China and the USA have provided anecdotal evidence of improved outcomes with the administration of anti-IL-6 agents, and large-scale trials evaluating these therapies are ongoing. STUDY DESCRIPTION: In this retrospective case series, clinical outcomes and correlates of response to treatment with the IL-6 receptor antagonist sarilumab are described for 15 patients with COVID-19 from a single institution in Southern Italy. Among 10 patients whose symptoms improved after sarilumab treatment, rapid decreases in CRP levels corresponded with clinical improvement. Lower levels of IL-6 at baseline as well as lower neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio as compared with patients whose COVID-19 did not improve with treatment were associated with sarilumab-responsive disease. CONCLUSIONS: This observation may reflect a possible clinical benefit regarding early intervention with IL-6-modulatory therapies for COVID-19 and that CRP could be a potential biomarker of response to treatment.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Biomarkers, Pharmacological/blood , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Italy , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
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