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COVID-19 in Persons with Hematological Cancers

Published time: 24 April 2020

Authors: Wenjuan He, Lei Chen, Li Chen, Guolin Yuan, Yun Fang, Wenlan Chen, Di Wu, Bo Liang, Xiaoting Lu, Yanling Ma, Lei Li, Hongxiang Wang, Zhichao Chen, Qiubai Li & Robert Peter Gale

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, cancer, hematological.


Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the cause of coronavirus infectious disease–19 (COVID-19), has caused a pandemic with >850,000 cases worldwide and increasing. Several studies report outcomes of COVID-19 in predominately well persons. There are also some data on COVID-19 in persons with predominately solid cancer but controversy whether these persons have the same outcomes. We conducted a cohort study at two centres in Wuhan, China, of 128 hospitalised subjects with haematological cancers, 13 (10%) of whom developed COVID-19. We also studied 226 health care providers, 16 of whom developed COVID-19 and 11 of whom were hospitalised. Co-variates were compared with the 115 subjects with haematological cancers without COVID-19 and with 11 hospitalised health care providers with COVID-19. There were no significant differences in baseline co-variates between subjects with haematological cancers developing or not developing COVID-19. Case rates for COVID-19 in hospitalised subjects with haematological cancers was 10% (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 6, 17%) compared with 7% (4, 12%; P = 0.322) in health care providers. However, the 13 subjects with haematological cancers had more severe COVID-19 and more deaths compared with hospitalised health care providers with COVID-19. Case fatality rates were 62% (32, 85%) and 0 (0, 32%; P = 0.002). Hospitalised persons with haematological cancers have a similar case rate of COVID-19 compared with normal health care providers but have more severe disease and a higher case fatality rate. Because we were unable to identify specific risk factors for COVID-19 in hospitalised persons with haematological cancers, we suggest increased surveillance and possible protective isolation.

COVID-19 in persons with haematological cancers



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