Study Pinpoints Cancer Patients at Highest Risk From COVID

By Robert Preidt

Health Day reporter

MONDAY, June 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Hospital patients with active cancer are more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are cancer survivors and patients who have never had cancer, new study finds .

Researchers analyzed the records of nearly 4,200 patients hospitalized at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Of these patients, 233 were diagnosed with active cancer.

Hospital death rates from COVID-19 were around 34% in people with active cancer, but have dropped to around 28% in those with a history of cancer or no history of cancer, according to study.

People with active blood cancers had the highest risk of death from COVID-19, according to the study recently published in the journal Cancer.

According to the researchers, receiving cancer therapy – including chemotherapy, molecular-targeted therapies and immunotherapy – in the three months before hospitalization was not linked to a higher risk of death.

“Among people hospitalized with active cancer and COVID-19, recent cancer treatment has not been associated with worse outcomes,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Becker, medical oncologist at NYU Langone.

Therefore, “people with active cancer should take precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19, including vaccination, but do not need to avoid cancer treatment,” Becker said in A press release.

The results also underscore the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for cancer patients, according to the journal’s new editor, Dr Suresh Ramalingam. He is Deputy Director of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta and Associate Dean for Cancer Research in the University’s Faculty of Medicine.

More information

The National Cancer Institute in the United States has more on cancer patients and COVID-19.

SOURCE: Cancer, press release, June 7, 2021

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