The COVID-19 Challenge: Oncology

The recent Chinese experience suggests that cancer patients are at higher risk of infection to SARS-CoV-2 compared to the general population, which could be related to the closer medical follow-up organized in such fragile patients. More concerning, the risk of severe respiratory complications requiring intensive care unit was much higher in cancer patients compared to non-cancer patients. A covariate significantly associated with this risk was a history of chemotherapy or surgery in the previous months, a feature that involves the highest number of cancer patients. Finally, the cancer patients deteriorated more rapidly than those without cancer.