Cancer patients are up to 70% more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who have recovered from cancer, study says
- Cancer patients are up to 70% more likely to die from Covid-19, according to an NYU study
- Researchers found that patients with blood-based cancers are more at risk than those with other cancers
- The findings confirm what many doctors believed, that cancer puts a person at risk of getting a negative result from the virus
People with an active cancer diagnosis are more likely to die from COCVID-19 than people who have recovered from the disease or never had it, a new study suggests.
New York University researchers studied medical records from the school’s Langone Medical Center to assess coronavirus patient outcomes for those who have cancer or have recovered from cancer.
They found that people with tumors were 70 percent more likely to die from the virus that has killed more than 598,000 Americans.
In addition, patients with blood-based or hematologic cancers were most likely to die from the virus.
Patients who had recovered from cancer but received cancer therapy in the past three months had no increased risk of dying from COVID-19.
According to an NYU study, cancer patients are up to 70% more likely to die from Covid-19 than their peers. However, people who have recovered from cancer are not more likely to die
For the study, published in the journal CANCER, the team searched 4,200 cases of COVID-19 that the hospital has treated since the pandemic began in March 2020.
“We … found that patients with active cancer, but no history of cancer, were more likely to die,” said Dr. Daniel Becker, a study co-author and a medical oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“However, among those hospitalized with active cancer and COVID-19, recent cancer therapy was not associated with worse outcomes.”
They found 233 hospitalized patients with active or current cancer diagnoses.
Active cancer patients were 70 percent more likely to die from the virus than the average person.
They were also 20 percent more likely to die than someone who had recovered from cancer, according to their findings.
Cancer patients died from the virus 34 percent of the time, compared with 28 percent of those with a history of cancer and 20 percent of those with no history of the disease.
Researchers do not believe the findings show evidence of a difference between recovered cancer patients and those who have not had cancer at all.
Nearly half of the cases of hematologic cancers resulted in death.
Health experts had long believed that some cancer patients are more likely to suffer negative effects from the virus, and the study confirms their beliefs.
Cancer patients may also be vulnerable to the virus even after receiving the vaccine, as a study published last month found that cancer patients, especially those with blood-based cancers, developed weaker antibody responses to the vaccine.
Researchers aren’t quite sure what the limited antibody response means, but they fear that cancer patients’ immune systems may not respond as strongly to the vaccine as they normally do.