Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Importance: Large cohorts of patients with active cancers and COVID-19 infection are needed to provide evidence of the association of recent cancer treatment and cancer type with COVID-19 mortality. Objective: To evaluate whether systemic anticancer treatments (SACTs), tumor subtypes, patient demographic characteristics (age and sex), and comorbidities are associated with COVID-19 mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: The UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (UKCCMP) is a prospective cohort study conducted at 69 UK cancer hospitals among adult patients (≥18 years) with an active cancer and a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients registered from March 18 to August 1, 2020, were included in this analysis. Exposures: SACT, tumor subtype, patient demographic characteristics (eg, age, sex, body mass index, race and ethnicity, smoking history), and comorbidities were investigated. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was all-cause mortality within the primary hospitalization. Results: Overall, 2515 of 2786 patients registered during the study period were included; 1464 (58%) were men; and the median (IQR) age was 72 (62-80) years. The mortality rate was 38% (966 patients). The data suggest an association between higher mortality in patients with hematological malignant neoplasms irrespective of recent SACT, particularly in those with acute leukemias or myelodysplastic syndrome (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.30-3.60) and myeloma or plasmacytoma (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.04-2.26). Lung cancer was also significantly associated with higher COVID-19-related mortality (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.11-2.25). No association between higher mortality and receiving chemotherapy in the 4 weeks before COVID-19 diagnosis was observed after correcting for the crucial confounders of age, sex, and comorbidities. An association between lower mortality and receiving immunotherapy in the 4 weeks before COVID-19 diagnosis was observed (immunotherapy vs no cancer therapy: OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.31-0.86). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study of patients with active cancer suggest that recent SACT is not associated with inferior outcomes from COVID-19 infection. This has relevance for the care of patients with cancer requiring treatment, particularly in countries experiencing an increase in COVID-19 case numbers. Important differences in outcomes among patients with hematological and lung cancers were observed.

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Netw Open

Publication Date





Aged, Aged, 80 and over, COVID-19, Cohort Studies, Drug Therapy, Female, Hematologic Neoplasms, Humans, Immunotherapy, Lung Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Registries, SARS-CoV-2, United Kingdom