Outcome of Breast Cancer Patients with COVID-19 Infection: A Report from a Tertiary Cancer Center in India

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Indhuja Muthiah Vaikundaraja
Manikandan Dhanushkodi
Venkatraman Radhakrishnan
Jayachandran Peumal Kalaiyarasi
Gangothri Selvarajan
Siva Sree Kesana
Carthikeyan SM
Priya Iyer
Balasubramanian Ananthi
Arvind Krishnamurthy
Sridevi Velusamy
Tenali Gnana Sagar


Breast cancer, COVID-19 infection, Outcome


Background: There is no data on the outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with breast cancer from India. This study was done to assess the outcome of patients with breast cancer who had COVID-19 infection.

Methods: We analyzed patients with breast cancer who were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection from May to September 2020 in the medical oncology department of a tertiary cancer center in India. Symptomatic patients (fever and influenza-like illness symptoms) or asymptomatic patients planned for systemic therapy were tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR.

Results: A total of 441 breast cancer patients received 1174 systemic therapies from May to September 2020. Among them, 36 patients who had COVID-19 infection were analyzed in detail. The majority (86%) were asymptomatic at presentation. The most common symptoms were fever followed by cough. Patients were either admitted to the hospital (53%) or kept in home quarantine (47%). Patients who received oxygen, non-invasive assisted ventilation (NIV), and mechanical ventilation (MV) were 8%, 3%, and 3% respectively. The median duration of hospitalization and home quarantine was 11 days and 19 days respectively. The recovery of patients with COVID-19 infection was 94%. The median duration to clearing SARS-COV-2 by RT-PCR was 19 days. The total/all-cause mortality was 6% (n=2). The mortality due to COVID-19 infection was 3% (n=1). Subsequently, 89% were restarted on systemic therapy. The median delay in restarting systemic therapy was 23 days.

Conclusion: Systemic therapy can be safely administered during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Further, follow-up of patients is warranted to assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 infection.


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