COVID-19 mortality in patients with cancer on chemotherapy or other anticancer treatments: a prospective cohort study

Analysis of data from 800 UK patients with cancer and symptomatic COVID-19 found 52% had a mild disease course. Receipt of chemotherapy within 4 weeks of the positive test (35%) was not associated with increased mortality from Covid-19 disease (OR 1.18 [0.81-1.72]; p=0.380).

SPS commentary:

The authors additionally found no evidence to suggest recent receipt of any other type of anticancer therapy (immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, radiotherapy) was associated with mortality. However the number of patients receiving these treatments was smaller, and further data with higher patient numbers are required to confirm or refute these findings.

The researchers suggest that their findings strongly suggest that mortality in patients with cancer and Covid-19 is principally driven by advancing age and the presence of other non-cancer comorbidities, and that “withholding effective cancer treatments during the pandemic runs the very real risk of increasing cancer morbidity and mortality, perhaps much more so than COVID-19 itself.”


The Lancet