Current attitude to deferral of cellular therapy or nontransplant chemotherapy due to SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infection: Survey of Infectious Diseases Working Party EBMT

Transpl Infect Dis. 2022 Apr;24(2):e13773. doi: 10.1111/tid.13773. Epub 2022 Jan 31.


The objective of the study was to assess the current clinical practice and the attitude toward deferral of HCT/chemotherapy in patients with hematological diseases in cases of asymptomatic patients with a positive assay for SARS-CoV-2. In August 2021, we performed a survey among EBMT centers regarding their attitude toward deferral of HCT/chemotherapy in patients with a positive PCR result. Centers were willing to defer the planned cellular therapy for patients with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection without previous COVID-19 disease, and patients who became asymptomatic after a previous COVID19 disease but persistently shed the virus, respectively, in case of high-risk allo-HCT (90.2%/76.9%), low-risk allo-HCT for malignant diseases (88.2%/83.7%), allo-HCT for nonmalignant diseases (91.0%/91.0%), auto-HCT (88.0%/79.8%), and CAR-T therapy (83.1%/81.4%). The respective rates toward deferral of noncellular therapy patients was lower for both groups of patients, and varied with the primary diagnosis and anti-malignant treatment. There is a relatively high rate of willingness to defer treatment in asymptomatic patients being positive for SARS-CoV-2, planned for cellular therapy, regardless of previous history of vaccination or COVID-19. The same approach is presented for most of patients before noncellular therapy. Nevertheless, each patient should be considered individually weighting risks and benefits.

Keywords: COVID-19; asymptomatic infection; deferral; hematopoietic cell transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Infections
  • COVID-19*
  • Communicable Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • SARS-CoV-2