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ASH 2020 | COVID-19 occurrence and impact in hematological oncology patients

Ruben Mesa, MD, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, San Antonio, TX, discusses the work he has been involved in surrounding Sars-Cov-2 infection in patients with hematological malignancies, both as part of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19; NCT04354701) registry analysis and in the conduction of a survey of over 1500 myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients about the impact of the pandemic. The CCC19 cohort investigated the clinical outcomes of cancer patients with COVID-19. Fitting with predictions of poor outcomes for hematological oncology patients due to disease and immunosuppression, rates of severe disease and death were high in this population of over 700 patients. Recent cytotoxic therapy was particularly predictive of poor outcomes. Additional subgroup analyses are ongoing. In the MPN patient survey, increases were seen in median symptom burden and reports of stress. Patients described impacts on their daily life as well as their MPN care, with many feeling the use of telemedicine had consequences on their care. This interview took place during the 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2020.

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