Ghada M. ElGohary, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology/Hematology, College of Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Shahrukh Hashmi, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
Jan Styczynski, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Jurasz University Hospital, Collegium Medicum UMK Torun, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Mohamed A. Kharfan-Dabaja, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Rehab M. Alblooshi, Department of Adult Hematology, Dubai Field Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Rafael de la Camara, Division of Hospital de la Princesa, C/Diego de Leon, Madrid, Spain
Sherif Mohmed, Department of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
Alfadel Alshaibani, Oncology Centre, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Simone Cesaro, Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Department of Mother and Child, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Verona, Italy
Nashwa Abd El-Aziz, Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Center, King Saud University Medical City, Saudi Arabia
Reem Almaghrabi, Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Usama Gergis, Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Navneet S. Majhail, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
Roy F. Chemaly, Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
Mahmoud Aljurf, Oncology Centre, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riad El Fakih, Oncology Centre, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Numerous studies have been published regarding outcomes of cancer patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. However, most of these are single-center studies with a limited number of patients. To better assess the outcomes of this new infection in this subgroup of susceptible patients, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infection on cancer patients. We performed a literature search using PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus for studies that reported the risk of infection and complications of COVID-19 in cancer patients and retrieved 22 studies (1018 cancer patients). The analysis showed that the frequency of cancer among patients with confirmed COVID 19 was 2.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-3) in the overall cohort. These patients had a mortality of 21.1% (95% CI: 14.7-27.6), severe/critical disease rate of 45.4% (95% CI: 37.4-53.3), intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate of 14.5% (95% CI: 8.5-20.4), and mechanical ventilation rate of 11.7% (95% CI: 5.5-18). The double-arm analysis showed that cancer patients had a higher risk of mortality (odds ratio [OR] ¼ 3.23, 95% CI: 1.71-6.13), severe/critical disease (OR ¼ 3.91, 95% CI: 2.70-5.67), ICU admission (OR ¼ 3.10, 95% CI: 1.85-5.17), and mechanical ventilation (OR ¼ 4.86, 95% CI: 1.27-18.65) than non-cancer patients. Furthermore, cancer patients had significantly lower platelet levels and higher D-dimer levels, C-reactive protein levels, and prothrombin time. In conclusion, these results indicate that cancer patients are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection-related complications. Therefore, cancer patients need diligent preventive care measures and aggressive surveillance for earlier detection of COVID-19 infection.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.