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Factors Affecting COVID-19 Outcomes in Cancer Patients: A First Report From Guy's Cancer Center in London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beth Russell, Charlotte Moss, Sophie Papa, Sheeba Irshad, Paul Ross, James Spicer, Shahram Kordasti, Danielle Crawley, Harriet Wylie, Fidelma Cahill, Anna Haire, Kamarul Zaki, Fareen Rahman, Ailsa Sita-Lumsden, Debra Josephs, Deborah Enting, Mary Lei, Sharmistha Ghosh, Claire Harrison, Angela Swampillai & 14 more Elinor Sawyer, Andrea D'Souza, Simon Gomberg, Paul Fields, David Wrench, Kavita Raj, Mary Gleeson, Kate Bailey, Richard Dillon, Matthew Streetly, Anne Rigg, Richard Sullivan, Saoirse Dolly, Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Original languageEnglish
Article number1279
JournalFrontiers in oncology
Published22 Jul 2020


  • CovidCancerPaper_Update_with TC

    CovidCancerPaper_Update_with_TC.docx, 130 KB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document

    Uploaded date:29 Sep 2020

King's Authors


Background: There is insufficient evidence to support clinical decision-making for cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 due to the lack of large studies. Methods: We used data from a single large UK Cancer Center to assess the demographic/clinical characteristics of 156 cancer patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis between 29 February and 12 May 2020. Logistic/Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify which demographic and/or clinical characteristics were associated with COVID-19 severity/death. Results: 128 (82%) presented with mild/moderate COVID-19 and 28 (18%) with a severe case of the disease. An initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before COVID-19 [OR: 1.74 (95% CI: 0.71–4.26)], presenting with fever [6.21 (1.76–21.99)], dyspnea [2.60 (1.00–6.76)], gastro-intestinal symptoms [7.38 (2.71–20.16)], or higher levels of C-reactive protein [9.43 (0.73–121.12)] were linked with greater COVID-19 severity. During a median follow-up of 37 days, 34 patients had died of COVID-19 (22%). Being of Asian ethnicity [3.73 (1.28–10.91)], receiving palliative treatment [5.74 (1.15–28.79)], having an initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before [2.14 (1.04–4.44)], dyspnea [4.94 (1.99–12.25)], and increased CRP levels [10.35 (1.05–52.21)] were positively associated with COVID-19 death. An inverse association was observed with increased levels of albumin [0.04 (0.01–0.04)]. Conclusions: A longer-established diagnosis of cancer was associated with increased severity of infection as well as COVID-19 death, possibly reflecting the effects a more advanced malignant disease has on this infection. Asian ethnicity and palliative treatment were also associated with COVID-19 death in cancer patients.

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