A year of experience with COVID-19 in patients with cancer: A nationwide study

Cancer Rep (Hoboken). 2023 Jan;6(1):e1678. doi: 10.1002/cnr2.1678. Epub 2022 Nov 27.


Background: Cancer is a major public health problem and comorbidity associated with COVID-19 infection. According to previous studies, a higher mortality rate of COVID-19 in cancer patients has been reported.

Aims: This study was undertaken to determine associated risk factors and epidemiological characteristics of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cancer using a nationwide COVID-19 hospital data registry in Iran for the first time.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we used a national data registry of hospitalized patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) symptoms and patients with confirmed positive COVID-19 PCR between 18 February 2020 and 18 November 2020. The patients were classified into two groups patients with/without malignancy. Logistic regression model was utilized to analyze demographic factors, clinical features, comorbidities, and their associations with the disease outcomes.

Results: In this study, 11 068 and 645 186 in-patients with SARS symptoms with and without malignancy were included, respectively. About 1.11% of our RT-PCR-positive patients had cancer. In patients with malignancy and COVID-19, older ages than 60 (OR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.29-2.74, p-value: .001), male gender (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.16-1.77, p-value: .001), concomitant chronic pulmonary diseases (CPD) (OR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.14-2.68, p-value: .009), and presence of dyspnea (OR; 2.00, 95% CI: 1.60-2.48, p-value: <.001) were associated with increased mortality rate.

Conclusion: Given the immunocompromised state of patients with malignancy and their vulnerability to Covid-19 complications, collecting data on the comorbidities and their effects on the disease outcome can build on a better clinical view and help clinicians make decisions to manage these cases better; for example, determining special clinical care, especially in the shortage of health services.

Keywords: cancer; comorbidity; coronavirus disease 2019; malignancy; risk factor.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2