Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Coverage from Every Angle

ASH 2020: Mortality and Risk Factors Associated With COVID-19 in Patients With CML

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2020

According to a global cohort study of COVID-19 in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the current COVID-19 mortality rate in this population is 13.7%. Although imatinib was identified as a predictor of poor outcomes, the study authors noted that imatinib may represent a confounder due to the strong link between imatinib treatment and advanced age—25% of imatinib-treated patients were older than age 75, compared with no patients treated with a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

“Further case reports and longer follow-up are needed to better ascertain independent risk factors, the impact of COVID-19, and the possible role that tyrosine kinase inhibitor type may play in this population,” stated Delphine Rea, MD, PhD, of the Université de Paris, and colleagues. The study results were presented during the virtual edition of the 2020 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition (Abstract 649).

In the CANDID study, the International CML Foundation collected data from 110 cases of COVID-19 in patients with CML from a global network of physicians. The median age at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis was 54 years, and the median time from CML diagnosis to COVID-19 was 7 years. Most patients (70%) were being treated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis: imatinib (36%), second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (34%), HQP1315 (1%), and unknown tyrosine kinase inhibitor (1%).

Patients were asymptomatic in 7% of cases; in the 102 symptomatic patients, COVID-19 was considered mild in 45%, moderate (hospitalization) in 17%, severe (intensive care) in 17%, and of unknown severity in 14%. Among the 87 patients who had recovered and had an outcome reported at the data cutoff date, the outcome was favorable in 86% and fatal in 14%. A data analysis identified older age, severity of COVID-19, and imatinib treatment as significant predictors for COVID-19 mortality.

 Disclosure: For full disclosures of study authors, visit

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