Jeremy L. Warner, MD, MS, on Updated Findings from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium

July 28, 2020

Updated findings further evaluate the effectiveness of various treatments of COVID-19 for patients with cancer and reveal possible racial disparities in enrollment of clinical trials.

Updated findings from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) add to the emerging understanding of the non-beneficial impact of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), and also suggest a potentially beneficial impact of remdesivir (Veklury).

In addition, the CCC19 research highlighted racial disparities in enrollment of clinical trials of possibly beneficial experimental therapies.

“We encourage the evaluation of these treatments in prospective [randomized clinical trials], along with systematic efforts to assess and address disparities and promote health equity in current studies evaluating potentially effective anti-COVID-19 therapies,” the authors wrote.

The study cohort included 2186 patients with cancer and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The participants were treated with a variety of therapies, alone or in combination, including hydroxychloroquine (n = 538, 25%), azithromycin (n = 485, 22%; Zithromax), remdesivir (n = 124, 6%), high-dose corticosteroids (n = 109, 5%), tocilizumab (n = 94, 4%; Actemra), and other therapies (n = 90, 4%); however, no treatment was reported for 1321 (60%) patients.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Jeremy L. Warner, MD, MS, associate professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University, discussed the updated results and what they imply for patients with cancer.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences National Broadcast, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences channels.

Reference:

Rivera DR, Peters S, Panagiotou OA, et al. Utilization of COVID-19 treatments and clinical outcomes among patients with cancer: A COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) cohort study. Cancer Discovery. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0941.