Outcomes of COVID-19 in Patients With Lung Cancer Treated in a Tertiary Hospital in Madrid

Lung Cancer

Front Oncol. 2020 Sep 16;10:1777. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01777. eCollection 2020.


Background: Cancer patients represent a vulnerable population for COVID-19 illness. We aimed to analyze outcomes of lung cancer patients affected by COVID-19 in a tertiary hospital of a high-incidence region during the pandemic. Methods: We annotated 23 lung cancer patients consecutively diagnosed with COVID-19 at our institution (HGUGM; Madrid, Spain) between March 4th, 2020 and May 12th, 2020. Only patients with a confirmatory SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR were included in the study. Results: All patients had at least 1 COVID-19 related symptom; cough (48%), shortness of breath (48%), fever (39%), and low-grade fever (30%) were the most common. Time from symptoms onset to first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR was 5.5 days (range 1-17), with 13% of cases needed from a 2nd PCR to confirm diagnosis. There was a high variability on thoracic imaging findings, with multilobar pneumonia as the most commonly found pattern (74%). Main lab test abnormalities were low lymphocytes count (87%), high neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio -NLR- (78%), and elevated inflammatory markers: fibrinogen (91%), c-reactive protein -CRP- (87%), and D-dimer (70%). In our series, hospitalization rate was 74%, 39% of patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and the case-fatality rate was 35% (8/23). 87% of patients received anti-viral treatment (87% hydroxychloroquine, 74% lopinavir/ritonavir, 13% azithromycin), 43% corticosteroids, 26% interferon-β, 4% tocilizumab, and 82% of hospitalized patients received anticoagulation. High-oxygen requirements were needed in 39% of patients, but only 1 pt was admitted for invasive MV and was discharged 42 days after admission. Multiple variables related to tumor status, clinical baseline conditions, and inflammation markers were associated with mortality but did not remain statistically significant in a multivariate model. In patients with lung cancer receiving systemic therapy (n = 242) incidence and mortality from COVID-19 were 4.5, and 2.1%, respectively, with no differences found by type of treatment. Conclusions: Lung cancer patients represent a vulnerable population for COVID-19, according to the high rate of hospitalization, onset of ARDS, and high mortality rate. Although larger series are needed, no differences in mortality were found by type of cancer treatment. Measures to minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection remain key to protect lung cancer patients.