Outcomes of Cancer Patients with COVID-19 in a Hospital System in the Chicago Metropolitan Area

Alain Mina*, Carlos Galvez, Reem Karmali, Mary Mulcahy, Xinlei Mi, Masha Kocherginsky, Michael J. Gurley, Neelima Katam, William Gradishar, Jessica K. Altman, Michael G. Ison, Dean Tsarwhas, Christopher George, Jane N. Winter, Leo I. Gordon, Firas H. Wehbe, Leonidas C. Platanias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with a history of malignancy have been shown to be at an increased risk of COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. Poorer clinical outcomes in that patient population are likely due to the underlying systemic illness, comorbidities, and the cytotoxic and immunosuppressive anti-tumor treatments they are subjected to. We identified 416 cancer patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection being managed for their malignancy at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, between March and July of 2020. Seventy-five (18.0%) patients died due to COVID-related complications. Older age (>60), male gender, and current treatment with immunotherapy were associated with shorter overall survival. Laboratory findings showed that higher platelet counts, ALC, and hemoglobin were protective against critical illness and death from COVID-19. Conversely, elevated inflammatory markers such as ferritin, d-dimer, procalcitonin, CRP, and LDH led to worse clinical outcomes. Our findings suggest that a thorough clinical and laboratory assessment of infected patients with cancer might help identify a more vulnerable population and implement more aggressive proactive strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2209
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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