Thoracic cancers versus COVID-19: Recent findings

In a global registry, 428 thoracic cancer patients infected with COVID-19 have been followed up, and the data are concerning. 169 have recovered, 119 have ongoing COVID-19 infection, but 141 have died.

In a global registry, 428 thoracic cancer patients infected with COVID-19 have been followed up, and the data are concerning. 169 have recovered, 119 have ongoing COVID-19 infection, but 141 have died.

Prof. Leora Horn (Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, USA) presented the results of the Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) registry [1]. "Patients with thoracic malignancies are considered high-risk given their age, pre-existing comorbidities, smoking, and pre-existing lung damage, in addition to therapies administered to treat their illness. We launched a global consortium to collect data on patients with thoracic malignancies diagnosed with COVID-19 infection to understand the impact on this patient population," she said.

Among registered deaths, 79.4% were attributed to COVID-19 and 10.6% to the patients' progressive cancer. Another 8.5% died of a combination of cancer and COVID-19. Just 8.3% of the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit; 5% of the patients who died utilized ventilators. Alarmingly, 78% of patients with a combination of COVID-19 and thoracic cancer were admitted to the hospital.

The median age of recovered patients was 63.3; it was a year older for those still being treated. The median age of patients with fatal cases was 70.2. Most patients were male. Most patients had an ECOG performance status of 0-1. The majority had non-small cell lung cancer, and 60% to 75% of patients had stage IV disease. Lung cancer was the most common diagnosis but the study also included other thoracic malignancies such as mesothelioma, thymic neoplasms, and carcinoid tumor. Data collection is ongoing, but 1 publication has already been published from this registry [2].

Sources:
1. Horn L, et al. Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT): Impact of type of cancer therapy and COVID therapy on survival. ASCO Virtual Meeting, 29-31 May 2020, Abstract LBA111. 2. Whisenant JG, et al. TERAVOLT: Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 16]. Cancer Cell. 2020;10.1016/j.ccell.2020.05.008.

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