Factors affecting the mortality rate of patients with cancer hospitalized with COVID-19: a single center's experience

J Chemother. 2021 Nov;33(7):499-508. doi: 10.1080/1120009X.2021.1923153. Epub 2021 May 25.


The main objective is to define the mortality of patients with cancer admitted to our hospital, their clinical and demographic characteristics, investigate the risk of COVID-19 for patients with cancer, and determine factors that affect the mortality rates of patients with cancer dying of COVID-19. A total of 2401 patients were admitted to our hospital with the diagnosis of COVID-19 from March 11th, 2020, to May 31st, 2020. Ninety-two out of a total of 112 cancer patients were included in this study based on the planned inclusion/exclusion criteria. The clinical, demographic, and laboratory features and treatments provided were studied, and their effect on mortality rates was analyzed. In our study the median age of the patients was 67 years, and 55.4% were male. More than half (56.5%) of our patients had metastasis. The mortality rate was 6.2% in the overall population with COVID-19, whereas it was 23.9% in patients with cancer. The mortality rate in patients with metastasis was statistically significantly higher compared with those without metastasis (34.0% vs. 10.3% P = 0.008). The mortality rate in patients still smoking was statistically significantly higher than in non-smokers (37.5% vs. 12.5% P = 0.033). The mortality rates of patients with high average C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and D-dimer levels were statistically significantly higher than in those without, and the mortality rates of patients with lower average albumin and hemoglobin levels were statistically significantly higher than those without (P < 0.001, P = 0.006, P = 0.041, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.028, respectively). Having metastases concurrent with COVID-19 was a statistically significant factor predictive of prognosis. Also, high CRP, ferritin, LDH, and D-dimer, and low albumin and hemoglobin were related to increased mortality rates. The predictive and prognostic role of possible factors related to prognosis is still unknown and further large, multicenter prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cancer; metastatic stage; mortality rate; smoking; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / analysis
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Smoking
  • Turkey


  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Ferritins
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase