Data from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium registry, presented at the 2020 ASCO Annual Virtual Science Program, reported how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted patients with cancer thus far.
Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, board-certified oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), director of the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine’s Genitourinary Cancers Program, and a UW professor of Oncology, spoke with CancerNetwork® about the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) registry data presented at the 2020 ASCO Annual Virtual Science Program, which reported data from patients with cancer who have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Moving forward, Grivas indicated that there are a lot of questions that he and his colleagues have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer. He suggested that with the accumulation of a larger sample size in the future, the answers to some of the questions surrounding COVID-19 will become clearer.
It’s hard to predict the future always, but as always with higher sample sizes we can have a little bit more power, statistically speaking, to answer questions. So, I think we may have a little bit more data regarding how the patients with stable cancer behave over time and also their COVID-19 outcomes. As I mentioned, if the cancer was progressing, that’s definitely a higher risk factor for mortality with COVID-19 infection. But one question is what about patients who have stable cancer, how do these patients fare over time? The other point is what you mentioned before: what about other medications. We have, you know, a lot of other medications are being tested in those patients. I want to see more data with the other medications and, of course, a higher sample size regarding the hydroxychloroquine azithromycin combination, which again is very hard to comment on that because of their confounding factors. The other factor of course is, you know, longer follow-up. And with longer follow-up, I want to also see if there are any other complications that we cannot think of of COVID-19. For example, is there any potential risk for more infections down the road, like from other infectious agents, or not? Are there any recurrent readmissions to the hospital for another reason? Is there any potential reinfection with the same virus? which we have not seen that yet based on literature. But these are going to be questions that we’ll look at in the future across institutions and of course other questions can come up as well.