Drug Exposure, Disease Characteristics Not Linked to Increased Mortality Risk in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Who Contracted COVID-19

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Specific disease characteristics of, and treatments for, multiple myeloma were not associated with increased mortality risk in patients with multiple myeloma who developed COVID-19, according to data published in Journal of Hematology & Oncology.

“Limited studies describing the impact of COVID-19 both in the (United States) and abroad suggest a higher risk of hospitalization and poor outcomes including death in certain subsets of cancer patients,” the authors wrote. “The effect of COVID-19 on patients with (multiple myeloma), the second most common hematological malignancy, is of particularly great concern due to immunosuppression associated with the disease, and at this time remains incompletely understood.”

To characterize the population of patients with multiple myeloma at Mount Sinai Hospital who developed COVID-19, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 58 patients treated at the institution who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and April 2020.

More than half (52%) of the cohort were male and the patients had a median age of 67 years. The most common comorbidities patients presented with included, but were not limited to, hypertension (64%), previous or active smoking (37%) and Type 2 diabetes (28%).

Most of the cohort (54 patients) had multiple myeloma, while the remaining four had smoldering multiple myeloma. The cohort had received a median of 1.5 lines of therapy for their cancer, and 17% of the cohort had received more than four previous lines of treatment. The median time from diagnosis of multiple myeloma to COVID-19 infection was 29.8 months. Forty-one percent of the patients had received a previous autologous stem cell transplant for their cancer.

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