Impact of COVID-19 on care of older adults with cancer: a narrative synthesis of reviews, guidelines and recommendations

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2022 Mar 1;16(1):3-13. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000584.


Purpose of review: The aim of this study was to summarize the literature on the impact of COVID-19 on older adults with cancer, including both the impacts of COVID-19 diagnosis on older adults with cancer and the implications of the pandemic on cancer care via a synthesis of reviews, guidelines and other relevant literature.

Recent findings: Our synthesis of systematic reviews demonstrates that older adults with cancer are prone to greater morbidity and mortality when experiencing concurrent COVID-19 infection. Current evidence related to the association between anticancer treatment and COVID-19 prognosis for older adults with cancer is conflicting. Guidelines and recommendations advocate for preventive measures against COVID-19; the uptake of telemedicine and virtual care; encourage vaccination for older adults with cancer; and the use of geriatric assessment.

Summary: The COVID-19 virus itself may be particularly deleterious for older adults with cancer. However, the health system and social impact of the pandemic, including global disruptions to the healthcare system and related impacts to the delivery of cancer care services, have equally important consequences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic