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

Disclosures

Breast Cancer Res. 2020;22(55) 

In This Article

Background

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 (http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/news/2020/3/who-announces-covid-19-outbreak-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 (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports). 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 (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports; https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports). With about 6000 deaths, the Paris area is one of the most severely affected regions in France (https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/recherche/#search=COVID%2019%20point%20epidemiologique&sort=date).

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] (https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3558017). Cancer patients with blood, lung, or metastatic cancers were reported to have the highest frequency of severe outcome[4] (https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3558017). 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.

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