COVID-19 and hematologic malignancies: Single institution analysis.

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COVID-19 in patients with hematologic malignancies are poorly characterized. Theoretically, it is believed that patients with malignancies having a significant chance of succumbing to COVID-19 due to the immunosuppression from the disease and myelosuppression from the cancer therapy compared to their counterparts without malignancies. However, there is scant evidence to support this claim. Here we analyze the outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19.


This is a retrospective review of all patients with hematologic malignancies with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to any one of the Beaumont hospitals in Michigan between March 1st,2020 and July 1st ,2020. Data regarding the demographics, cancer diagnosis and management, covid-19 management and outcomes were abstracted.


A total of 32 patients with hematologic malignancies were identified. Of these 32 patients, five patients also had solid malignancies. Median age was 70.5 years (22-91 years) with patients being predominantly female 18 (56 %) and Caucasians 16 (50%). Median BMI was 26.5 kg/m2 (15-79 kg/m2).

The most prevalent hematologic malignancies were Chronic/Small Lymphocytic lymphoma 7(25%) and Multiple Myeloma 6(19%). The median length of stay in the hospital was 9 days (2-61days).

Twelve patients were on active therapy prior to COVID-19 diagnosis. Therapies administered include radiation, surgery, anti-CD30 antibody drug conjugate, immunomodulatory agents, proteasome inhibitors, Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors, steroids and chemotherapy. These agents were held at the time of diagnosis of COVID-19

Twenty two patients (69%) patients received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin which were standard of care at that time. A total of 31 (97%) patients were on anticoagulation of which 14 (45%) were on therapeutic doses while 17 (55%) were on prophylactic dose.

Four (13%) of the patients were admitted in the ICU. A total of 6 deaths were reported and the median age was 83 years (66-91 years). Four deaths were attributed to COVID-19. Two non-COVID-19 deaths were as a result of aspiration pneumonia and hospital acquired pneumonia. Only one patient with COVID-19 received treatment for malignancy (surgical cytoreduction) but succumbed to COVID-19 four days later. All patients who died received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.


Our study, though limited by sample size, shows that about a third of patients received treatment for their hematologic malignancies around the time of COVID-19 diagnosis and only one death was reported. Patients are currently being advised to participate in clinical trials to better evaluate outcomes while on treatment for hematologic malignancies.




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