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ASH 2020 | COVID-19 infection in CLL

Lydia Scarfò, MD, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy, discusses the initial results of an international examination of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that have been hospitalized for COVID-19 infection. Although the mortality rate of COVID-19 is higher in patients with CLL, therapy does not seem to increase the risk of infection with COVID-19. Larger cohorts and longer follow-ups are required to better characterize COVID-19 in patients with CLL. This interview took place during the 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2020.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

Regarding the study about COVID-19 patients with CLL who were hospitalized, this is a result actually of an international effort, where we joined the cohorts and the data collected from the US and UK colleagues and the Spanish group and the European Research Initiative on the CLL project. And basically we confirm what we have already shown, so that the mortality rate in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 seems to be higher in patients with CLL, unfortunately...

Regarding the study about COVID-19 patients with CLL who were hospitalized, this is a result actually of an international effort, where we joined the cohorts and the data collected from the US and UK colleagues and the Spanish group and the European Research Initiative on the CLL project. And basically we confirm what we have already shown, so that the mortality rate in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 seems to be higher in patients with CLL, unfortunately. And factors predicting this higher mortality rate are mostly associated with increased age and some relevant key comorbidities. But the disease itself, if well-control, is not, let’s say, adding further risk for the patients hospitalized because of COVID-19.

So we are still trying to better characterize the features related to infection outcome in patient with CLL, and apparently there is no additional risk related to treatment, especially with targeted agents. They do not seem to increase the risk, basically for sure not of developing the infection, but they are not also influencing worse outcome of the infection. But still, the cohort collected so far are not so large, so we definitely need additional data and a longer follow-up to better understand the COVID-19 course in patients with CLL.

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Disclosures

Dr Lydia Scarfò, MD, has participated in advisory boards for AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Gilead and Janssen.

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