COVID-19 in cancer patients: risk, clinical features, and management

Link to article at PubMed

Cancer Biol Med. 2020 Aug 15;17(3):519-527. doi: 10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2020.0289.


A novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread across the world, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) a public health emergency of international concern. Cancer patients are regarded as a highly vulnerable population to SARS-CoV-2 infection and development of more severe COVID-19 symptoms, which is possibly due to the systemic immunosuppressive state caused directly by tumor growth and indirectly by effects of anticancer treatment. Currently, much effort has been directed toward studying the pathogenesis and treatment of COVID-19, but the risk profiles, prognoses, and treatment outcomes in cancer patients remain unclear. Based on the current literature, we summarize the risk profiles, clinical and biochemical characteristics, and therapy outcomes of COVID-19 infections in cancer patients. The challenges in the clinical care of cancer patients with COVID-19 are discussed. The goal of this review is to stimulate research to better understand the biological impact and prognoses of COVID-19 infections in cancer patients, thus facilitating improvement of the clinical management of these patients.

PMID:32944387 | PMC:PMC7476081 | DOI:10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2020.0289

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