The World Health Organization declared coronavirus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) linked to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), a global pandemic in March 2020. The pandemic outbreak has led to the most unprecedented and catastrophic loss of human life in the recent history. As of January 2021, there were more than 100 million cases of COVID-19 and more than two million deaths worldwide. Compared to the general population, patients with cancer are at a higher risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19. In large cohort studies, mortality from COVID-19 in patients with cancer can be as high as 40%. In addition to clinical variables (older age, male sex, and co-morbidities) that are associated with mortality in general population, cancer patients are uniquely vulnerable to severe COVID-19 due to immunosuppression from cancer and its therapy, and disruption of routine clinical care. Among patients with cancer, the lung cancer population is at a higher risk of poor outcomes and mortality from COVID-19 for several reasons. For instance, lung is the main target organ in COVID-19 that can lead to respiratory failure, patients with lung cancer have baseline poor lung function from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and smoking. In addition, some of the lung cancer treatment side-effects like pneumonitis, may obscure the diagnosis of COVID-19. In this article, we systematically review the most impactful cohort studies published to date in patients with cancer and COVID-19. We describe the rates of mortality in patients with cancer and COVID-19 with a special focus on the lung cancer population. We also summarize the factors associated with poor outcomes and mortality in patients with lung cancer and COVID-19.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Kulkarni AA - University of Minnesota COVID-19 Rapid Response grant.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- Lung cancer