The management of hematologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2021 Apr;22(5):565-582. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2020.1849143. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Introduction: Patients with hematological malignancies have experienced a more severe clinical course of COVID-19 and higher mortality than those with solid tumors and those without cancer. The ongoing pandemic poses many challenges in assuring the correct and timely diagnosis of hemato-oncology patients as well as the optimal treatment.Areas covered: The present paper reviews current data on the incidence and clinical course of COVID-19 in patients with hematological malignancies. A literature review of the MEDLINE database for articles was conducted via PubMed. Publications from December 2019 through September 2020 were scrutinized. The search terms used were SARS-Cov-2 OR COVID-19 in conjunction with hematological malignancies OR leukemia OR lymphoma OR multiple myeloma OR cancer. Recommendations and expert opinions either published or presented on ASH, ASCO, ESMO, NCCN websites were also reviewed.Expert opinion: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a pressing need to improve the management of patients with hematological malignancies, including establishing prompt diagnoses and providing effective treatment while also minimalizing the risk of SARS-Cov2 infection. The recommendations developed by many organizations based on expert opinions are helpful in making proper decisions. All cancer patients should be advised to get vaccinated against influenza and pneumococcus.

Keywords: SARS-Cov-2; covid-19; hematological malignancies; leukemia; lymphoma; multiple myeloma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics