New data on risks and treatment for patients with cancer and COVID

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, oncologists have grappled with questions about potential risks and treatment changes for their cancer patients. To address these and many other questions, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) partnered with Fred Hutch, Vanderbilt University and other organizations to form the COVID-19 Cancer Consortium (CCC19). The consortium pools data from providers around the U.S. to inform the best care for cancer patients who contract COVID-19. 

Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, a physician and director of the Genitourinary Cancer Program at SCCA, described CCC19’s early findings on a recent episode of the Oncology Sound Byte podcast. 

“The data so far suggest that having active cancer does raise the mortality risk from COVID — but being treated for cancer creates no significant additional risk,” says Dr. Grivas. “This makes a strong case for not delaying treatment because of the coronavirus.”

Specifically, the consortium found a one-month mortality rate of 13 percent for patients with both cancer and COVID — much higher than the 3 percent mortality rate for all patients with COVID-19 in the U.S. (not time-bound to one month), as calculated by the Coronavirus Research Center at Johns Hopkins.  

The consortium identified a number of factors putting cancer patients at higher risk of death or complications from COVID. These include older age, male gender, limited function, and having cancer that is active or progressing. Patients in remission appear not to be at a significantly higher risk. 

Contribute your patient data 

These findings were presented during the 2020 ASCO meeting and are based on data on roughly 1,000 patients with both cancer and COVID-19, including patient characteristics, type of cancer, treatments they received for both cancer and COVID, and more.  
 
“We have more than quadrupled the patients in our database since then,” Dr. Grivas says. “We would love for more providers to contribute their data as well.” Providers can do so at ccc19.org. Check with your local regulator to get approval. 
 
Learn more about CCC19 and its findings by listening to the full Oncology Sound Byte conversation with Dr. Grivas below or through RadioMD. 

Listen to the full conversation via the media player below or your favorite podcast platform. 

 

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