Outcomes of COVID-19 in Patients With Cancer: Report From the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)

J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jul 10;39(20):2232-2246. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01074. Epub 2021 Jun 4.


Purpose: Variation in risk of adverse clinical outcomes in patients with cancer and COVID-19 has been reported from relatively small cohorts. The NCATS' National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is a centralized data resource representing the largest multicenter cohort of COVID-19 cases and controls nationwide. We aimed to construct and characterize the cancer cohort within N3C and identify risk factors for all-cause mortality from COVID-19.

Methods: We used 4,382,085 patients from 50 US medical centers to construct a cohort of patients with cancer. We restricted analyses to adults ≥ 18 years old with a COVID-19-positive or COVID-19-negative diagnosis between January 1, 2020, and March 25, 2021. We followed N3C selection of an index encounter per patient for analyses. All analyses were performed in the N3C Data Enclave Palantir platform.

Results: A total of 398,579 adult patients with cancer were identified from the N3C cohort; 63,413 (15.9%) were COVID-19-positive. Most common represented cancers were skin (13.8%), breast (13.7%), prostate (10.6%), hematologic (10.5%), and GI cancers (10%). COVID-19 positivity was significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.24). Among COVID-19-positive patients, age ≥ 65 years, male gender, Southern or Western US residence, an adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index score ≥ 4, hematologic malignancy, multitumor sites, and recent cytotoxic therapy were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality. Patients who received recent immunotherapies or targeted therapies did not have higher risk of overall mortality.

Conclusion: Using N3C, we assembled the largest nationally representative cohort of patients with cancer and COVID-19 to date. We identified demographic and clinical factors associated with increased all-cause mortality in patients with cancer. Full characterization of the cohort will provide further insights into the effects of COVID-19 on cancer outcomes and the ability to continue specific cancer treatments.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cause of Death
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult

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