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Covid-19 mortality increased in cancer patients, study finds


Covid-19 mortality increased in cancer patients, study finds

Covid-19 mortality increased in cancer patients, study finds

Cancer patients affected by Covid-19 present "a greater and earlier risk of mortality", according to an observational study conducted by the Léon-Bérard Center, specializing in the fight against cancer.

Cancer patients are more fragile when affected by Covid-19 because they have a higher and earlier risk of death. Indeed, 27.8% of patients who tested positive died within 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19, compared to 16.3% of patients tested negative, ”notes the Léon-Bérard Center in a press release. “In addition, nearly 97% of Covid + patients had to be hospitalized for this disease,” it adds.

1,162 patients included in the study

The ONCOVID-19 study is based on data collected from 18 cancer centers and five French hospitals. 1662 cancer patients with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 disease, between March 1 and May 21, 2020, were included in the study, which was published on June 16 in the British Journal of Cancer . Among them, 36.6% were positive for Covid-19 (positive RT-PCR and / or characteristic radiological images) and 63.4% were negative.

"The ONCOVID-19 study therefore highlighted the fact that patients with cancer and showing symptoms of Covid-19 disease, whether or not they are positive on the test must be carefully monitored," said the director general from the Léon-Bérard Center, Professor Jean-Yves Blay, cited in the press release.

This study also made it possible to identify factors associated with a higher risk of mortality in cancer patients positive for the new coronavirus: “Male sex, metastatic status, lymphopenia (lymphocyte deficit or immune deficiency), antecedents of inflammatory or autoimmune disease requiring immunosuppressive treatments ”, according to the Lyon institution of reference in the fight against cancer.

"In the midst of a health crisis (of Covid-19), it was urgent to understand the effects of this new virus on cancer patients in order to protect them and in particular be able to maintain cancer treatments in these fragile patients", underlines the coordinator of the study, Dr Souad Assaad.