Latest Global Analysis Examines Mortality Rates of Patients With COVID-19, Thoracic Cancers


“Data collection is ongoing with additional analyses planned to look at patient and provider perception of COVID-19 impact on cancer care.”

Thoracic cancer

A recent study assessed outcomes in patients with thoracic cancers and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to determine demographic factors, comorbidities, cancer characteristics, and therapies that are associated with the highest risk of mortality in patients with thoracic malignancies.

The study, which was presented in a virtual press briefing in advance of the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program, used global consortium Teravolt, the thoracic cancers international COVID-19 collaboration registry. A total of 363 patients were entered in the electronic Case Report Form (eCRF) in 26 countries, primarily of European descent (98%).

Of the patients assessed, with an initial median follow up of 15 days, 76% were hospitalized for their COVID-19 infection, whereas 9% were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 25% required mechanical ventilation. The majority (74%) were on active therapy for thoracic cancer.

The updated analysis, with a median follow up of 33 days, reported various risk factors associated with mortality: age over 65, presence of comorbidity, ECOG performance status above 1, steroid intake above 10 mg, anticoagulation, and chemotherapy among them.

Overall, 33.3% of patients in the study died, with the majority (89%) of deaths due to complications from COVID-19; the study results additionally showed that a low number of patients who died were admitted to the ICU. Ten percent of deaths were attributed to a patient’s cancer diagnosis.

The investigators also pointed to prior administration of chemotherapy as being associated with increased risk of death, though immunotherapy and TKI were not. Sixty percent to 75% of patients were diagnosed with stage 4 disease, with significant number of patients (45%) on chemotherapy within the last 3 months. The majority of patients were either untreated or on first-line therapy at the time of COVID-19 infection, according to the investigators.

Further reports from the analysis asserted that therapy administered for treatment of COVID-19 was not significantly associated with either a positive or negative outcome.

Investigators plan to continue data collection in order to look at patient and provider perception of the effect of COVID-19 on cancer care, among other data.

“This is a fluid database; as we learn more about COVID-19, we’re able to enter in new data points to really capture the impact on this global pandemic on our patients with thoracic malignancies,” lead investigator Leora Horn, MD, MSc, FRCPC, said during the ASCO20 virtual press briefing.


1. Horn L, Whisenant JG, Torri V, et al. TERAVOLT: Thoracic cancERs internation coVid 19 cOLlaboraTion: Impact of cancer therapy and COVID therapy on survival. Presented at: 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program; May 29-31, 2020; online. Accessed May 28, 2020. Doi: 10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.LBA111

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