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Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Therapy for Bladder Cancer and Likelihood of COVID-19 Infection

By: Anna Nowogrodzki
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2021

Among patients with bladder cancer who received bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy, the number of courses of BCG therapy appeared to have no effect on the likelihood of developing COVID-19 infection, according to a recent brief report. Hasaan Niroomand, MD, of AJA University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues published their results in Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research.

“Although no statistically significant association was observed between receiving BCG therapy and developing COVID-19, the infection rate in patients who had recently received BCG therapy was lower than those who had received therapy more than a year ago,” the authors wrote.

The study included 102 patients with bladder cancer and a history of BCG therapy, drawn from the Uro-Oncology Research Center registry database. The study population was 86.3% male, and 55.9% were older than 65. The researchers monitored the patients for COVID-19 infection.

Of the total patients, 13 (13%) developed COVID-19 infection. None were hospitalized or developed severe disease.

According to the authors, there seemed to be no correlation between the time and number of BCG therapy courses and the likelihood of developing COVID-19 infection. Patients who received BCG therapy more than a year ago were more likely (19%) to develop COVID-19 infection than those who received BCG therapy within the past year (11%), but this difference was not statistically significant. The study is limited, however, by its small sample size.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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