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The Landscape of COVID-19 in Cancer Patients: Prevalence, Impacts, and Recommendations

Authors Abdihamid O, Cai C, Kapesa L, Zeng S

Received 13 July 2020

Accepted for publication 17 August 2020

Published 23 September 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 8923—8933

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S272008

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Xueqiong Zhu


Omar Abdihamid,1 Changjing Cai,1 Linda Kapesa,2 Shan Zeng1,3,4

1Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oncology, Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; 3National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disorders, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People’s Republic of China; 4Key Laboratory for Molecular Radiation Oncology of Hunan Province, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Shan Zeng
Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-13574846576
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Cancer patients are susceptible groups to COVID-19, and risk-adjusted models show that most cancer patients have a 25– 39% mortality risk if infected with COVID-19. The infection rate of SARS-CoV-2 in cancer patients in China was 0.79% (12 of 1524 patients; 95% CI, 0.31.2%). The case fatality rate of COVID-19 in the overall population ranges from 2.3 to 8.0%; among these, the case fatality rate for cancer patients is at 5.6%. In a retrospective cohort study of 28 COVID-19-infected cancer patients, a total of 15 (53.6%) patients had severe outcomes with a mortality rate of 28.6%. In a pooled analysis by Aakash et al, a 2% cancer prevalence was found among admitted patients with COVID-19. In Italy, a report shows that among the 3200 patients who died of SARS-CoV-2, 19.4% were patients with cancer. In New York, 61 (28%) cancer patients succumbed to COVID-19 with a case fatality rate of 37% (20/54) and 25% (41/164) for hematologic and solid malignancies, respectively. Impacts of COVID-19 in cancer care include interruptions of life-saving therapies, distraction effects, and diagnostic overshadowing that involve diverting attention to the pandemic rather than to cancer patients and disruptions of primary palliative care to patients due to forced quarantine. Herein, we review the landscape of COVID-19 in cancer care. We also briefly share our experience and the measures in place to protect cancer patients against COVID-19 in our center.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, cancer care, high-risk, mortality

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