COVID-19 Increases Death and Hospitalization Rates in Mesothelioma Patients



About a fifth of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma were also diagnosed with COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic at a Barcelona hospital, which has contributed to both hospitalization and death rates high, according to recent findings presented at the 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer.

The results showed that seven patients (18%) were diagnosed with COVID-19; the mean overall survival (OS) of these patients was 17.8 months from the diagnosis of cancer.

Five of these patients died; the reasons for death included COVID-19 (four patients) and active disease (one patient). The median OS of these patients was 0.4 months since the diagnosis of COVID-19.

Patients with thoracic malignancies may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, said lead author of the study, Dr Susana Cedres, medical oncologist in the Thoracic Tumors Unit at the University Hospital and Institute of Vall d’Hebron oncology in Barcelona, ​​Spain, to explain the basis of the study in a virtual presentation of the data.

Although the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection has already been evaluated in 200 patients with thoracic malignancies in the TERAVOLT registry, only eight patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma were included in the evaluation.

In the United States, tuberculosis, drug use disorders, hepatitis, HIV / AIDS, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, and malignant pleural mesothelioma have been linked to worse mortality outcomes from COVID- 19.

Therefore, investigators sought to determine the effect of COVID-19 infection on patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.

In the study, investigators compiled the medical records of 38 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who had visited Vall d’Hebron University Hospital between March 2020 and March 2021.

The data collected included information on demographics, co-morbidities, oncologic history and course of COVID-19 disease.

Regarding the characteristics of patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the median age was 62 years (range, 62-87). The study population included four men (57%) and four women (43%). Four patients were non-smokers (57%) and three patients were smokers or former smokers (43%).

All seven patients (100%) had epithelioid histology. Five patients (71%) were not receiving cancer treatment when diagnosed with COVID-19 compared to two (29%) patients who were.

In addition, investigators stratified patients by six characteristics when diagnosed with COVID-19: comorbidity, concomitant treatment, clinical onset, laboratory, hospitalization, and respiratory symptoms.

Regarding comorbidities, four patients (57%) had cardiovascular comorbidity, one patient (14%) respiratory comorbidity and one patient (14%) renal comorbidity.

Regarding concomitant treatments, four patients (57%) received antiplatelet or anticoagulant treatment, 2 patients (29%) received antidiabetic treatment and one patient (14%) received corticosteroids.

Regarding clinical onset, four patients (57%) had symptomatic onset, and three patients (43%) had asymptomatic onset.

Regarding laboratory results, six patients (85%) had lymphopenia, four patients (57%) had elevated d-dimers and four patients (57%) had elevated IL-6.

Regarding hospitalization, six patients (85%) were hospitalized and one patient (14%) was not.

Regarding respiratory symptoms, four patients (57%) had bilateral pneumonia and six patients (85%) had oxygen support.

A version of this article originally appeared on OncLive under the title “COVID-19 causes high hospitalization and mortality in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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