Bakouny Z, Labaki C, Grover P, Awosika J, Gulati S, Hsu CY, Alimohamed SI, Bashir B, Berg S, Bilen MA, Bowles D, Castellano C, Desai A, Elkrief A, Eton OE, Fecher LA, Flora D, Galsky MD, Gatti-Mays ME, Gesenhues A, Glover MJ, Gopalakrishnan D, Gupta S, Halfdanarson TR, Hayes-Lattin B, Hendawi M, Hsu E, Hwang C, Jandarov R, Jani C, Johnson DB, Joshi M, Khan H, Khan SA, Knox N, Koshkin VS, Kulkarni AA, Kwon DH, Matar S, McKay RR, Mishra S, Moria FA, Nizam A, Nock NL, Nonato TK, Panasci J, Pomerantz L, Portuguese AJ, Provenzano D, Puc M, Rao YJ, Rhodes TD, Riely GJ, Ripp JJ, Rivera AV, Ruiz-Garcia E, Schmidt AL, Schoenfeld AJ, Schwartz GK, Shah SA, Shaya J, Subbiah S, Tachiki LM, Tucker MD, Valdez-Reyes M, Weissmann LB, Wotman MT, Wulff-Burchfield EM, Xie Z, Yang YJ, Thompson MA, Shah DP, Warner JL, Shyr Y, Choueiri TK, and Wise-Draper TM. Interplay of Immunosuppression and Immunotherapy Among Patients With Cancer and COVID-19. JAMA Oncol 2022.
IMPORTANCE: Cytokine storm due to COVID-19 can cause high morbidity and mortality and may be more common in patients with cancer treated with immunotherapy (IO) due to immune system activation.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of baseline immunosuppression and/or IO-based therapies with COVID-19 severity and cytokine storm in patients with cancer.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This registry-based retrospective cohort study included 12 046 patients reported to the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) registry from March 2020 to May 2022. The CCC19 registry is a centralized international multi-institutional registry of patients with COVID-19 with a current or past diagnosis of cancer. Records analyzed included patients with active or previous cancer who had a laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction and/or serologic findings.
EXPOSURES: Immunosuppression due to therapy; systemic anticancer therapy (IO or non-IO).
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was a 5-level ordinal scale of COVID-19 severity: no complications; hospitalized without requiring oxygen; hospitalized and required oxygen; intensive care unit admission and/or mechanical ventilation; death. The secondary outcome was the occurrence of cytokine storm.
RESULTS: The median age of the entire cohort was 65 years (interquartile range [IQR], 54-74) years and 6359 patients were female (52.8%) and 6598 (54.8%) were non-Hispanic White. A total of 599 (5.0%) patients received IO, whereas 4327 (35.9%) received non-IO systemic anticancer therapies, and 7120 (59.1%) did not receive any antineoplastic regimen within 3 months prior to COVID-19 diagnosis. Although no difference in COVID-19 severity and cytokine storm was found in the IO group compared with the untreated group in the total cohort (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.80; 95% CI, 0.56-1.13, and aOR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.41-1.93, respectively), patients with baseline immunosuppression treated with IO (vs untreated) had worse COVID-19 severity and cytokine storm (aOR, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.38-8.01, and aOR, 4.41; 95% CI, 1.71-11.38, respectively). Patients with immunosuppression receiving non-IO therapies (vs untreated) also had worse COVID-19 severity (aOR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.36-2.35) and cytokine storm (aOR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.42-3.79).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cohort study found that in patients with cancer and COVID-19, administration of systemic anticancer therapies, especially IO, in the context of baseline immunosuppression was associated with severe clinical outcomes and the development of cytokine storm.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04354701.
ePub ahead of print