A recent study identified risk factors for all-cause mortality in cancer patients with COVID-19, some of which are a higher comorbidity score, older age, recent cytotoxic therapy, male sex, and hematologic malignancy. The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study was based on data obtained from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), which is a large nationwide cohort of COVID-19 cases and control groups, consisting of outpatients and inpatients seen at various sites across the United States. The analysis included adults from the N3C cohort who had received either a positive or negative COVID-19 diagnostic result between January 1, 2020, and March 25, 2021. From this population, the researchers aimed to develop and characterize a cohort of patients with cancer to examine possible risk factors for mortality with COVID-19.

Of a total of 4,382,085 patients in the N3C, 38,614 patients with cancer and a COVID-19 diagnosis met inclusion criteria for evaluation. The most common cancers among these patients included skin, breast, prostate, and GI cancers and hematologic malignancies.

Continue Reading

Presence of COVID-19 was linked to higher all-cause mortality in patients with cancer (hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.15-1.24; P <.001). Factors associated with this increased risk were a higher adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index score, age 65 years and older, recent cytotoxic therapy, multitumor sites, male sex, hematologic malignancy, and residence in the southern or western US.

Contrary to cytotoxic therapy, recent use of immunotherapies or targeted therapies was not associated with increased mortality.

The study investigators noted that their findings regarding age, sex, and comorbidities are consistent with prior research. “Future studies of the cohort will provide insights into the evolving effect of COVID-19 on patients with cancer and additional evidence to guide the clinical management of this patient population,” they concluded.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of author disclosures.


Sharafeldin N, Bates B, Song Q, et al; the National COVID Cohort Collaborative. Outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with cancer: report from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). J Clin Oncol. Published online June 4, 2021. doi:10.1200/JCO.21.01074

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor