Importance: COVID-19 is a life-threatening illness for many patients. Prior studies have established hematologic cancers as a risk factor associated with particularly poor outcomes from COVID-19. To our knowledge, no studies have established a beneficial role for anti-COVID-19 interventions in this at-risk population. Convalescent plasma therapy may benefit immunocompromised individuals with COVID-19, including those with hematologic cancers.
Objective: To evaluate the association of convalescent plasma treatment with 30-day mortality in hospitalized adults with hematologic cancers and COVID-19 from a multi-institutional cohort.
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cohort study using data from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium registry with propensity score matching evaluated patients with hematologic cancers who were hospitalized for COVID-19. Data were collected between March 17, 2020, and January 21, 2021.
Exposures: Convalescent plasma treatment at any time during hospitalization.
Main outcomes and measures: The main outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis with adjustment for potential confounders was performed. Hazard ratios (HRs) are reported with 95% CIs. Secondary subgroup analyses were conducted on patients with severe COVID-19 who required mechanical ventilatory support and/or intensive care unit admission.
Results: A total of 966 individuals (mean [SD] age, 65  years; 539 [55.8%] male) were evaluated in this study; 143 convalescent plasma recipients were compared with 823 untreated control patients. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, convalescent plasma treatment was associated with improved 30-day mortality (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.37-0.97). This association remained significant after propensity score matching (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29-0.92). Among the 338 patients admitted to the intensive care unit, mortality was significantly lower in convalescent plasma recipients compared with nonrecipients (HR for propensity score-matched comparison, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20-0.80). Among the 227 patients who required mechanical ventilatory support, mortality was significantly lower in convalescent plasma recipients compared with nonrecipients (HR for propensity score-matched comparison, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.14-0.72).
Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest a potential survival benefit in the administration of convalescent plasma to patients with hematologic cancers and COVID-19.