First case of COVID-19 in a patient with multiple myeloma

The immunosuppressant tocilizumab may be a promising option for myeloma patients with COVID-19, a case study from China suggests.

Dr Changcheng Zheng, MD, of the University of Science and Technology of China and colleagues detailed the case of a 60-year-old man with multiple myeloma who was hospitalised with chest tightness and shortness of breath and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

The patient was initially treated with methylprednisolone but his symptoms did not fully resolve and a chest CT revealed bilateral, multiple ground-glass opacities.

The patient also had high interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels which were treated with 8mg/kg tocilizumab. Three days later his chest tightness had resolved and 10 days he was discharged from hospital.

“This case is the first to prove that tocilizumab is effective in the treatment of COVID-19 in MM with obvious clinical recovery; however, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of tocilizumab” the study authors concluded in their ‘exceptional case report’ in Blood Advances.

Originally published on The Limbic