COVID-19 and Cancer: Lessons Learnt from a Michigan Hotspot

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Cancers (Basel)


Background: Outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been worse in those with comorbidities and amongst minorities. In our study, we describe outcomes amongst cancer patients in Detroit, a major COVID-19 hotspot with a predominant inner-city population. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 85 patients with active invasive cancers who were infected with COVID-19. The primary outcome was death or transition to hospice. Results: The majority were males (55.3%, n = 47), ≤70 years old (58.5%, n = 50), and African Americans (65.5%, n = 55). The most common primary site was prostate (18.8%, n = 16). Inpatient admission was documented in 85.5% (n = 73), ICU admission in 35.3% (n = 30), and primary outcome in 43.8% (n = 32) of hospitalized patients. On a multivariate analysis, factors associated with increased odds of a primary outcome included an age of >70 years versus ≤70 years (OR 4.7, p = 0.012) and of male gender (OR 4.8, p = 0.008). Recent cancer-directed therapy was administered in 66.7% (n = 20) of ICU admissions versus 39.5% (n = 17) of general floor admissions (Chi-square p-value of 0.023). Conclusions: High rates of mortality/transition to hospice and ICU utilization were noted amongst our patients with active invasive cancer, following a COVID-19 infection. Men and those of >70 years of age had a greater than four-fold increase in odds of death or transition to hospice.

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