|The following article features coverage from the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.|
Chemotherapy was not associated with increased risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19-related death in patients with breast cancer in a single-center study.
The study results were presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting by Nibash Budhathoki, MBBS, of the NYU Long Island School of Medicine in Mineola, New York.
Dr Budhathoki and colleagues analyzed data on breast cancer patients treated at NYU Long Island School of Medicine to determine the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related mortality by treatment type.
Treatment type was stratified as cytotoxic chemotherapy vs non-cytotoxic therapies (endocrine and/or HER2-directed therapy). SARS-CoV-2 infection was determined by serology, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), or documented clinical diagnosis.
There were 3062 patients included, with 379 receiving chemotherapy, 2343 receiving endocrine and/or HER2-directed therapy, and 340 receiving no anticancer treatment.
A total of 641 patients (20.9%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by either RT-PCR or serology, and 64 patients (2.1%) were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Overall rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection were 4.7% in the cytotoxic therapy group and 1.8% in the non-cytotoxic therapy group. Weighted rates of infection were 3.5% and 2.7%, respectively (P =.5).
Overall rates of COVID-19-specific mortality were 1.1% in the cytotoxic therapy group and 0.1% in the non-cytotoxic therapy group. Weighted mortality rates were 0.7% and 0.1%, respectively (P =.2).
Additional analyses revealed positive associations between overall survival and stage I-III disease (P =.02), younger age (P =.001), lower body mass index (P =.05), and lower Charlson Comorbidity Index score (P =.01).
“In summary, chemotherapy was not associated with increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 or death following infection in this breast cancer population,” Dr Budhathoki said. “Breast cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, can be safely administered with enhanced infectious precautions and, in general, should not be withheld, particularly when given with curative intent.”
Disclosures: This research was supported by the NYU Long Island School of Medicine. Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.
Budhathoki N, Kurcharczyk J, D’Abreo N, et al. Risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with breast cancer treated with chemotherapy, biologic therapy or active surveillance: Patient outcomes from multicenter institution in New York. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39:(suppl 15; abstr 1513). doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.1513