Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Mohan Z Mani

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Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dermatolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
‘Knowledge is treasure of a wise man.’ The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011
Anuradha

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.


Dr. Anuradha
E-mail: anuradha2nittur@gmail.com
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Original article / research
Year : 2022 | Month : April | Volume : 16 | Issue : 4 | Page : OC01 - OC04 Full Version

Clinical Profile and Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients with Malignancy- A Cross-sectional Study


Published: April 1, 2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2022/54947.16185
Chaitra Rao, M Parvathi, K Ravi

1. Postgraduate Student, Department of General Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. 2. Assistant Professor, Department of General Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. 3. Professor and Head, Department of General Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. Chaitra Rao,
Room No. 123, Kaveri Girls Hostel, Opposite Tippu Sulthan Summer Palace, KR Market, Bangalore-560002, Karnataka, India.
E-mail: chaitrar753@gmail.com

Abstract

Introduction: Patients with history of past or active malignancy are at increased risk of contracting the virus and developing Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) related complications. With the global prevalence of cancer and the high transmissibility of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), an understanding of the disease course of COVID-19 and factors influencing clinical outcomes in patients with cancer is necessary and is largely unknown.

Aim: To study the laboratory characteristics of patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection and to evaluate the outcomes in terms of clinical features, severity of infection and mortality of patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection.

Materials and Methods: The present study was a cross-sectional study conducted at Victoria Hospital, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, involving 72 subjects with COVID-19 infection. The duration of the study was from April 2020 to November 2020. Demographic details and data were collected in patients with active or previous malignancy and COVID-19 illness based on Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) criteria. Clinical outcome of the patients was measured based on need for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission, oxygen therapy and mortality. Descriptive statistics of the explanatory and outcome variables were calculated as mean, Standard Deviation (SD), median and Interquartile Range (IQR) for quantitative variables, frequency and proportions for qualitative variables. Inferential statistics like Chi-square test was applied for qualitative variables.

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 52.10±14.512 years with 29 males and 43 females. Among 72 patients with malignancy, patients were classified as mild (23), moderate (22) and severe (27) according to ICMR case type, respectively. Among the total patients, 21 (29.2%) were asymptomatic and 51 (70.8%) were symptomatic with 26 (36.1%) symptomatic patients having severe disease. Also, 30 (41.7%) had requirement of Oxygen (O2) and 28 (38.9%) were admitted to ICU. Most common was solid organ malignancy (66), lung carcinoma (13), breast (10), compared to haematological malignancies (6). A total of 22 (30.6%) patients had mortality with most common complication being Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) (20.8%) followed by sepsis (4.2%).

Conclusion: The results of present study revealed higher mortality and increased inflammatory markers in patients with severe COVID-19 infection and malignancy.

Keywords

Cancer, Inflammatory markers, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2

The novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 is a non segmented positive stranded Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) virus with a protein envelope. COVID-19 has become a worldwide threat and international health concern. The rapid human to human transmission of the virus occurs through direct contact with an infected patient by respiratory droplets in the form of coughing or sneezing or indirect contact with fomites in the environment (1),(2). Patients with co-morbid conditions are more susceptible to manifest complications of the viral infections (3). Studies suggest that patients with a history of or active malignancy might be at an increased risk of contracting the virus and developing COVID-19 related complications (4),(5). These patients are immunocompromised by the effects of antineoplastic therapy, medications such as steroids, augmented immune response to infection secondary to immunomodulatory drugs and the immunosuppressive properties of malignancy itself. Furthermore, older patients with cancer often have one or more co-morbidities, thereby increasing the risk for COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality (5).

With the global prevalence of cancer and the high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, understanding of the disease course of COVID-19 and factors influencing clinical outcomes in patients with cancer is necessary. Higher mortality in this population of patients, with the potential to receive curative treatment, has important practical implications for healthcare systems. The present aimed to study the laboratory characteristics of patients with COVID-19 infection and malignancy. To evaluate the outcomes in terms of severity of infection and mortality of patients with COVID-19 infection and malignancy.

Material and Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted on 72 patients with active or past history of malignancy admitted for COVID-19 illness between April 2020 to November 2020 in Victoria Hospital, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. After obtaining ethical approval and clearance (IEC: BMCRI/PS/254/2020-21) from Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC), the patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria were enrolled for the study after obtaining informed consent.

Inclusion criteria: Patients of either sex with age >18 years diagnosed with COVID-19 infection by Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technique or rapid antigen testing, willing to give informed consent, chest Computed Tomography (CT) findings meeting the standard for diagnosis of COVID-19 and history of current or cured malignancy within past one year were included in the study.

Exclusion criteria: Patients not willing to give informed consent and age less than 18 years were excluded from the study.

Case record was used to record the duration of COVID-19 disease, history of treatment for malignancy and type of malignancy was noted.Patients included those who underwent the following laboratory investigations- Complete Blood Count (CBC), quantitative C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Serum Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH), D-dimer and serum ferritin. As per ICMR standard regimen guidelines, patients were classified as mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 illness and followed the same treatment regimen (6). These patients were further followed-up for outcome measures which included course in hospital, requirement of ICU admission, requirement of oxygen therapy and severity of disease was followed-up until discharge or death.

Statistical Analysis

Descriptive statistics of the explanatory and outcome variables were calculated by mean, SD, median and IQR (based on data distribution) for quantitative variables; frequency and proportions for qualitative variables. Inferential statistics like Chi-square test was applied for qualitative variables. The level of significances set at 5%.

Results

Most of patients in the present study were in between 56-65 years age group i.e., 21 (29.2%). The youngest age encountered was 18 years whereas the oldest patient was 88 years, with mean age of 52.10±14.512 years. Of the 72 patients in the study, 43 (59.7%) patients of the study population were females and 29 (40.3%) were males. The female:male (F:M) ratio is 1.48:1. Co-morbidities associated with the diseases were: 23 patients (31.9%) had diabetes mellitus, followed by hypertension 12 (16.7%), ischaemic heart disease 4 (5.6%), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 5 (6.9%), 26 patients (36.1%) did not had any co-morbidities in the study (Table/Fig 1).

Among 72 patients with malignancy, 27 patients (37.5%) had COVID-19 severe disease, followed by COVID-19 mild disease in 23 patients (31.9%) and 22 patients (30.6%) had COVID-19 moderate disease. Out of 72 patients with malignancy, 21 (29.2%) were asymptomatic and 51 (70.8%) were symptomatic with 26 (36.1%) symptomatic patients having severe disease (Table/Fig 2). Out of 72 patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection, 30 patients (41.7%) required oxygen therapy, 28 patients (38.9%) were admitted to ICU and 22 patients (30.6%) expired (Table/Fig 3).

(Table/Fig 4) shows the laboratory parameters based on ICMR case type. The mean haemoglobin (gm/dL) in mild, moderate and severe cases was 11.5, 11.2 and 10.33, respectively. The mean Total Leukocyte Count (TLC) (cells/mm3) in mild, moderate and severe cases were 7017.39, 7963.64 and 13085.19, respectively. The mean neutophil:lymphocyte ratio in mild, moderate and severe cases was 3.3, 4.82 and 9.07, respectively. The mean Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) (IU/Litre) in mild, moderate and severe cases were 371.83, 368.55 and 462.78, respectively. The mean D-Dimer (μg/mL) in mild, moderate and severe cases was 1.13, 1.59 and 2.19, respectively. The mean CRP (mg/dL) levels in mild, moderate and severe cases were 19.04, 56.73 and 129.89, respectively. The mean ferritin (μg/L) levels in mild, moderate and severe cases were 555.09, 516.64 and 1348.0 respectively.

The most common type of malignancy was solid organ type. Of total 72 patients with malignancy, 66 patients (91.7%) had solid organ malignancies and 6 patients (8.3%) had haematological malignancies. Distribution into mild, moderate and severe is shown in (Table/Fig 5). Most common malignancy in the present study was lung carcinoma (13), followed by breast carcinoma (10) other malignancies are shown in (Table/Fig 6). Among the 72 patients, 22 patients underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Seventeen patients were on chemotherapy alone and 11 patients had undergone surgery. Four patients were not currently on any treatment for malignancy (Table/Fig 7). Among total of 72 patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection, 22 patients died, with case fatality of 30.6%. The most common cause of death was ARDS 15 (20.8%) followed by sepsis 3 (4.2%) (Table/Fig 8).

Discussion

This tertiary care hospital-based cross-sectional study was undertaken to study the clinical profile of patients with COVID-19 infection and malignancy. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection by RT-PCR technique or rapid antigen testing or chest CT findings meeting the standard for diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. Other objective was to evaluate in terms of laboratory features, severity of infection and mortality of patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection.

In the present study, it was observed that 21 (29.2%) patients belonged to 56-65 years of age. Among these patients, severe COVID-19 infection as per ICMR category was seen in eight patients. In a study done by Borah P et al., it was seen that elderly patients with haematological malignancy and severe COVID-19 had worst outcomes (7). Older patients often have one or more major co-morbidities, putting them at increased risk for COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality. In this study, 43 patients (59.7%) of the study population were females and 29 patients (40.3%) were males. The female:male (F:M) ratio was 1.48:1.

In the present study, 23 patients (31.9%) had diabetes mellitus as the most common co-morbidity, followed by hypertension in 12 patients (16.7%), ischaemic heart disease in four patients (5.6%), COPD in five patients (6.9%). A total of 12 (36.1%) cases had no co-morbidities in present study. In a study done by Kuderer NM et al., higher numbers of co-morbidities were significantly associated with increased mortality (8).Specific co-morbidities are associated with a strong Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptor expression and higher release of proprotein convertase thereby enhancing the viral entry into the host cells. The co-morbidities leads to increased risk of infection in COVID-19 patient and are substantially associated with significant morbidity and mortality (9).

Out of the 72 cases, severe COVID-19 disease was most common comprising of 27 patient (37.5%), followed by mild disease in 23 patients (31.9%) and moderate disease in 22 patients (30.6%). It is observed that among 30 patients (41.7%) requiring oxygen therapy, 27 patients (90%) had severe COVID-19 infection. Among 28 patients (38.9%) who were admitted to ICU, 27 patients (96.4%) had severe COVID-19 infection at admission and one patient was admitted with mild COVID-19 infection. There was a statistically significant association between uses of oxygen therapy, ICU stay with severity of the disease (p<0.001). According to Salunke AA et al., presence of cancer in COVID-19 leads to higher risk of developing serious disease and has a significant impact on mortality rate in COVID-19 patients. Among a total of 3775 patients, there was a significant ICU requirement rates in cancer patient group compared with non cancer group- 40% versus 8.42%, respectively. The death rate in COVID-19 patients with and without cancer was 20.83% versus 7.82%, respectively (10).

In the present study, 50 (69.4%) patients were discharged and case fatality was seen in 30.6% of cases. In a study done by Zhang L et al., mortality rate was 28.6%, which was similar to the present study (11). Patients suffering from cancer shows deteriorating conditions and poor outcomes from the COVID-19 infection.

In this study, 66 (91.7%) patients had solid organ malignancies and 6 (8.3%) patients had haematological malignancies. Among the patients with solid organ malignancies, 23 (31.9%) patients had severe COVID-19 infection, 21 patients (29.2%) had moderate COVID-19 infection, 22 patients (30.6%) mild COVID-19 infection respectively. In present study, lung carcinoma was found in 13 cases, followed by breast carcinoma (10), cervical carcinoma (8), stomach and colon malignancies (6). In a study done by Zhang L et al., among the cancer patients, lung cancer was the most frequent type of cancer, followed by oesophageal cancer and breast cancer, which was similar to this study (11).

Twenty two patients underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, 17 patients were on chemotherapy alone and 11 patients had undergone surgery, whereas, four patients were not currently on any treatment for malignancy. Of these four patients not on treatment, three cases were of severe COVID-19 illness with requirement of ICU and died in the course of treatment due to ARDS. In a retrospective study done by Zhang L et al., six (21.4%) patients had received atleast one kind of antitumour therapy mainly chemotherapy (10.7%), targeted therapy (7.1%), radiotherapy (3.6%), immunotherapy (3.6%) (11). There could be several reasons for these observations. The immunological disruption observed in patients with malignancies and the use of immunosuppressive treatment regimens might result in a combination of risk factor for COVID-19 infection. Increased susceptibility of these patients to infection and likelihood of severe consequences, such as cytokine storm and multiorgan failure thereby result in poor outcomes in these cases.

In the present study, consisting of 72 patients with malignancy and COVID-19 infection, with case fatality of 30.6%, ARDS was seen in 15 patients (20.8%) followed by sepsis in three patients (4.2%) and sepsis with Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS) in two patients (2.8%) with COVID-19 infection. This was similarly seen in a study done by Calles A et al., 39% of patients developed ARDS, and the case-fatality rate was 35% (12). In a study done by Kumar R et al., a total of 231 COVID-19 patients were studied, with mean age of 39.8 years (13). Co-morbidities were present in 21.2%, diabetes and hypertension being the most common. There were no deaths in that study.

In a hospital based retrospective study done by Dasari D et al., among 299 COVID-19 cases, 55 patients died with case fatality rate was 18.4% (14). Among the clinical variables, Saturated Oxygen (SpO2) at the time of admission, having severe disease, oxygen dependency, requirement ofnasal cannula, requirement of Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV), requirement of intubation, and requirement of remdesivir treatment were found to be significantly associated with mortality.

When compared to the above studies without patients with malignancy, the present study had higher mortality rates. Patients with malignancy are immunocompromised by the effects of antineoplastic therapy, medications such as steroids, augmented immune response to infection secondary to immunomodulatory drugs and the immunosuppressive properties of malignancy itself, leading to adverse outcomes. Since, the study was done during first COVID-19 outbreak, protocols were yet to be setup and treatment of COVID-19 patients was a new set challenge.

Limitation(s)

Present study has also some limitations which includes the relatively small sample size that limited our power to draw formal conclusions in predictive factors of mortality. Also, other factors like tumour staging was not included in present study. There was no comparison made with patients without malignancy.

Conclusion

This study evaluated the clinical features and outcome of COVID-19 patients with malignancy. With the ongoing pandemic wherein healthcare systems are engaged with the ongoing challenge of managing this infection effectively, patients with malignancy should be screened early for any minor symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Individualised treatment in terms of risk and benefit for active intervention in cancer patients should be considered.

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DOI and Others

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2022/54947.16185

Date of Submission: Jan 14, 2022
Date of Peer Review: Jan 21, 2022
Date of Acceptance: Mar 12, 2022
Date of Publishing: Apr 01, 2022

AUTHOR DECLARATION:
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA

PLAGIARISM CHECKING METHODS:
• Plagiarism X-checker: Jan 15, 2022
• Manual Googling: Feb 14, 2022
• iThenticate Software: Mar 10, 2022 (19%)

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