The impact of active cancer in COVID-19 patients is poorly defined; however, most studies showed a poorer outcome in cancer patients compared to the general population.
We analysed clinical data from 557 consecutive COVID-19 patients. Uni-multivariable analysis was performed to identify prognostic factors of COVID-19 survival; propensity score matching was used to estimate the impact of cancer.
Of 557 consecutive COVID-19 patients, 46 had active cancer (8%). Comorbidities included diabetes (n = 137, 25%), hypertension (n = 284, 51%), coronary artery disease (n = 114, 20%) and dyslipidaemia (n = 122, 22%). Oncologic patients were older (mean age 71 vs 65, p = 0.012), more often smokers (20% vs 8%, p = 0.009), with higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (13.3 vs 8.2, p = 0.046). Fatality rate was 50% (CI 95%: 34.9;65.1) in cancer patients and 20.2% (CI 95%: 16.8;23.9) in the non-oncologic population. Multivariable analysis showed active cancer (HRactive: 2.26, p = 0.001), age (HRage>65years: 1.08, p < 0.001), as well as lactate dehydrogenase (HRLDH>248mU/mL: 2.42, p = 0.007), PaO2/FiO2 (HRcontinuous: 1.00, p < 0.001), procalcitonin (HRPCT>0.5ng/mL: 2.21, p < 0.001), coronary artery disease (HRyes: 1.67, p = 0.010), cigarette smoking (HRyes: 1.65, p = 0.041) to be independent statistically significant predictors of outcome. Propensity score matching showed a 1.92× risk of death in active cancer patients compared to non-oncologic patients (p = 0.013), adjusted for ICU-related bias. We observed a median OS of 14 days for cancer patients vs 35 days for other patients.
A near-doubled death rate between cancer and non-cancer COVID-19 patients was reported. Active cancer has a negative impact on clinical outcome regardless of pre-existing clinical comorbidities.