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Thoracic cancers versus COVID-19

Presented by
Leora Horn, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, USA
ASCO 2020
Featured video: Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT): Impact of type of cancer therapy and COVID therapy on survival.


In the global Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) registry, 428 thoracic cancer patients infected with COVID-19 have been followed up, and the data are concerning. So far, 169 have recovered, 119 have ongoing COVID-19 infection, but 141 have died.

Prof. Leora Horn (Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, USA) presented the results [1]. "Patients with thoracic malignancies are considered high-risk given their age, pre-existing comorbidities, smoking, and pre-existing lung damage in addition to therapies administered to treat their illness. We launched a global consortium to collect data on patients with thoracic malignancies diagnosed with COVID-19 infection to understand the impact on this patient population," she said.

Among registered deaths, 79.4% were attributed to COVID-19 and 10.6% to the patients' progressive cancer. Another 8.5% died of a combination of cancer and COVID-19. Just 8.3% of the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit; 5% of the patients who died utilised ventilators. Alarmingly, 78% of patients with the combination of COVID-19 and thoracic cancer were admitted to the hospital.

The median age of recovered patients was 63.3; it was a year older for those still being treated. Median age of patients with fatal cases was 70.2. Most patients were male. Most patients had ECOG performance status of 0-1. The majority had non-small cell lung cancer, and 60% to 75% of patients had stage IV disease. Lung cancer was the most common diagnosis, but the study also included other thoracic malignancies such as mesothelioma, thymic neoplasms, and carcinoid tumour. Data collection is ongoing, but 1 publication has already been published from this registry [2].

  1. Horn L, et al. ASCO Virtual Meeting, 29-31 May 2020, Abstract LBA111.

  2. Whisenant JG, et al. Cancer Cell. 2020;10.1016/j.ccell.2020.05.008.

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