Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

COVID-19 and Myeloma: Characteristics of Infection and Serologic Response at Mount Sinai Hospital

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2020

A recent article published in the Journal of Hematology & Oncology discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the organization of cancer care for patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Deepu Madduri, MD, of Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine, and colleagues performed a retrospective study in which they collected epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory data from patients with multiple myeloma who developed COVID-19. Overall, their findings revealed several defining demographic characteristics and comorbidities associated with hospitalization; they also found that the elevation of several inflammatory markers was associated with increased mortality.

“The effect of COVID-19 on patients with multiple myeloma…is of particularly great concern due to immunosuppression associated with the disease and at this time remains incompletely understood,” stated Dr. Madduri and colleagues.

To help close this gap, they reviewed clinical charts, nursing records, laboratory findings, and radiologic images as well as demographic data for 58 patients. Multiple myeloma and COVID-19 status were confirmed using polymerase chain reaction and an institutionally developed anti-IgG assay, respectively. They also assessed plasma levels of selected inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β ), IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

The most common comorbidities were hypertension (64%), hyperlipidemia (62%), obesity (37%), diabetes mellitus (28%), chronic kidney disease (24%), and lung disease (21%). For patients older than 70 years, hospitalization was statistically associated with male sex, cardiovascular risk, and a lack of complete remission or stringent complete remission (P < .05). Additionally, hospitalized patients demonstrated elevation of traditional inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, ferritin, D-dimer) and a significant association between elevated inflammatory markers and mortality (P < .05). Although 14 patients died, the median time to polymerase chain reaction negativity was 43 days from the initial positive COVID-19 result in the remaining patients.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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