THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For gynecologic oncology patients with COVID-19, the case fatality rate is 14.0 percent, and chemotherapy and recent major surgery do not predict COVID-19 severity or mortality, according to a study published online July 30 in Cancer.

Olivia D. Lara, M.D., from the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues examined clinical characteristics and outcome data for patients from six New York City-area hospital systems with known gynecologic cancer and COVID-19 diagnosis. Medical records were abstracted from 121 patients with gynecologic cancer and COVID-19.

The researchers found that 54.5 percent of patients required hospitalization; of these, 45 (68.2 percent), 20 (30.3 percent), and nine (13.6 percent) required respiratory intervention, were admitted to the intensive care unit, and underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, respectively. There were 17 deaths (14.0 percent) from COVID-19 complications. None of the patients who needed mechanical ventilation survived. Hospitalization was associated with age older than 64 years, African-American race, and three or more comorbidities (relative risks, 2.22, 2.22, and 2.01, respectively) in a multivariable analysis. In addition, in the multivariate analysis, only recent immunotherapy use was associated with death due to COVID-19 (relative risk, 2.93). COVID-19 severity or mortality was not predicted by chemotherapy treatment or recent major surgery.

“Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to subside for some time, this may help alleviate patient fears and allow them to feel safe in continuing critical cancer treatments including surgery and anti-cancer directed therapy,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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