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medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.14.20101576


Abstract Background: Concerns have emerged about the higher risk of fatal COVID-19 in cancer patients. In this paper, we review the experience of a comprehensive cancer center. Methods: A prospective registry was set up at Institut Curie at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. All cancer patients with suspected or proven COVID-19 were entered and actively followed for 28 days. Results: Among 9,842 patients treated at Institut Curie between mid-March and early May 2020, 141 (1.4%) were diagnosed with COVID-19, based on RT-PCR testing and/or CT-scan. In line with our case-mix, breast cancer (40%) was the most common tumor type, followed by hematological and lung malignancies (both 13%). Patients with active cancer therapy or/and advanced cancer accounted for 88% and 69% of patients, respectively. At diagnosis, 79% of patients had COVID-19 related symptoms, with an extent of lung parenchyma involvement [≤]50% in 90% of patients. Blood count variations and C-reactive protein elevation were the most common laboratory abnormalities. Antibiotics and antiviral agents were administered in 48% and 7% of patients, respectively. At the time of analysis, 26 patients (18%) have died from COVID-19, and 81 (57%) were cured. Independent prognostic factors at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis associated with death or intensive care unit admission were extent of COVID-19 pneumonia and decreased O2 saturation. Conclusions: COVID-19 incidence and presentation in cancer patients appear to be very similar to those in the general population. The outcome of COVID-19 is primarily driven by the initial severity of infection rather than patient or cancer characteristics.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.30.20085928


BackgroundCancer patients have been reported to be at higher risk of COVID-19 complications and deaths. We report the characteristics and outcome of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 during breast cancer treatment at Institut Curie hospitals (ICH, Paris area, France). MethodsAn IRB-approved prospective registry was set up at ICH on March 13th, 2020 for all breast cancer patients with COVID-19 symptoms or radiologic signs. Registered data included patient history, tumor characteristics and treatments, COVID-19 symptoms, radiological features and outcome. Data extraction was done on April 25th, 2020. COVID-19 patients were defined as those with either a positive RNA test or typical, newly appeared lung CT-scan abnormalities. ResultsAmong 15,600 patients actively treated for early or metastatic breast cancer during the last 4 months at ICH, 76 patients with suspected COVID-19 infection were included in the registry and followed. Fifty-nine of these patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 based on viral RNA testing (N=41) or typical radiologic signs: 37/59 (63%) COVID-19 patients were treated for metastatic breast cancer, and 13/59 (22%) of them were taking corticosteroids daily. Common clinical features mostly consisted of fever and/or cough, while ground-glass opacities were the most common radiologic sign at diagnosis. We found no association between prior radiation therapy fields or extent of radiation therapy sequelae and extent of COVID-19 lung lesions. Twenty-eight of these 59 patients (47%) were hospitalized and 6 (10%) were transferred to an intensive care unit. At the time of analysis, 45/59 (76%) patients were recovering or had been cured, 10/59 (17%) were still followed and 4/59 (7%) had died from COVID-19. All 4 patients who died had significant non-cancer comorbidities. In univariate analysis, hypertension and age (>70) were the two factors associated with a higher risk of intensive care unit admission and/or death. ConclusionsThis prospective registry analysis suggests that the COVID-19 mortality rate in breast cancer patients depends more on comorbidities than prior radiation therapy or current anti-cancer treatment. Special attention must be paid to comorbidities when estimating the risk of severe COVID-19 in breast cancer patients.