Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

AACR COVID-19: Older Patients With Multiple Myeloma at Risk

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A recent retrospective analysis, which was presented during the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Meeting on COVID-19 and Cancer (Abstract PO-081), investigated the risk factors that may lead to mortality in older patients with a history of multiple myeloma who were infected with COVID-19. However, Michael John Lunski, MD, of the Ochsner Cancer Institute, New Orleans, and colleagues explained that a larger study is needed to expand on their findings.

“Patients older than age 65 with a history of multiple myeloma seem to be at risk of death from COVID-19,” the investigators remarked. “Interestingly, a history of autologous stem cell transplant did not appear to affect mortality. While the presence of hypogammaglobulinemia did not affect mortality, its overwhelming finding in the patients who died warrants further discussion in the future.”

The investigators reviewed the electronic medical records of 15 patients with a history of multiple myeloma who tested positive for COVID-19 between March 1 and April 30, 2020. Of this study population, 40% were reported to have died. All six patients who died were on active treatment; however, active treatment did not seem to significantly impact mortality overall (P = .103). Patients older than age 65 appeared to have a significantly greater risk of mortality than patients younger than age 65 (P = .011). Additionally, hospitalized patients were more likely to “succumb to infection” than nonhospitalized patients in this population (P = .044).

Neither the presence of chronic kidney disease (P = .315) nor a history of autologous stem cell transplant (P = .103) seemed to impact mortality. Of the six patients who died, five experienced hypogammaglobulinemia; however, the presence of hypogammaglobulinemia did not seem to be associated with an increased risk of mortality in the overall study population (P = .167).

Disclosure: No information regarding conflicts of interest was provided.

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