COVID-19 in Breast Cancer Patients

A Cohort at the Institut Curie Hospitals in the Paris Area

Perrine Vuagnat; Maxime Frelaut; Toulsie Ramtohul; Clémence Basse; Sarah Diakite; Aurélien Noret; Audrey Bellesoeur; Vincent Servois; Delphine Hequet; Enora Laas; Youlia Kirova; Luc Cabel; Jean-Yves Pierga; Institut Curie Breast Cancer and COVID Group; Laurence Bozec; Xavier Paoletti; Paul Cottu; François-Clément Bidard


Breast Cancer Res. 2020;22(55) 

In This Article


On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was informed about cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China.[1] A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[2] Over the following months, the viral outbreak shifted from China to the rest of the world and was subsequently recognized as a pandemic ( In France, the number of confirmed cases rose during early March: more than 2800 confirmed cases were officially reported on March 13, 2020, when the French hospital emergency response plan, which coordinates all hospitals, was increased to its maximum readiness level ( As of April 24, France is the 6th most severely affected country in the world (in terms of absolute numbers), with more than 21,000 official COVID-19-related deaths (; With about 6000 deaths, the Paris area is one of the most severely affected regions in France (

The first report on COVID-19 outcome in cancer patients was published on February 14:[3] in a series of 18 Chinese patients with a history of cancer and a diagnosis of COVID-19, 7 (39%) had to be treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and/or died. This seminal retrospective study prompted major concerns about the risk of COVID-19 infection in cancer patients. Further studies confirmed that compared to the Chinese general population, cancer patients are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and death[3–5] ( Cancer patients with blood, lung, or metastatic cancers were reported to have the highest frequency of severe outcome[4] ( These retrospective reports, of limited size and restricted to patients hospitalized in Chinese hospitals, may not be fully transposable to Western healthcare systems, as suggested by a preliminary report on New Yorkers admitted to ICU.[6]

Our study reports the COVID-19 features and outcomes experienced by inpatients and outpatients actively treated for breast cancer at Institut Curie hospitals (ICH) in the Paris area, France.