What is it about?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the entire world, but especially so for patients with cancer. Patients with blood cancers are at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 infections. One such blood cancer is B lymphoma. In a study, researchers checked how severe COVID-19 infections were in patients with B lymphoma, including those being treated for this cancer. They found that these patients had a high risk of severe infection. This risk was higher in patients undergoing anticancer therapy.

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Why is it important?

The effect of cancer medications on COVID-19 is unclear. Doctors first assumed that these therapies could also treat the virus infection. But data from clinical trials disagreed with this. Previous studies on this had varying results. They also did not include enough patients. This is the largest study of patients with this cancer and COVID-19 to date. A COVID-19 infection during cancer treatment can be severe. So, patients must be aware of the added risk while considering treatment options. If possible, cancer treatment should wait until patients are fully vaccinated. When suggesting treatment options, the increased risk of severe infection should also be considered. KEY TAKEAWAY: This study suggests that having received treatment for B lymphoma is related to severe COVID-19 infections. These findings show that there is a need for more strict prevention measures for the infection in patients with this cancer.

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This page is a summary of: Patients Recently Treated for B-lymphoid Malignancies Show Increased Risk of Severe COVID-19, Blood Cancer Discovery, March 2022, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), DOI: 10.1158/2643-3230.bcd-22-0013.
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