Impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 on the care and outcomes of patients with cancer: a cohort study

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As of March 21, 2020, more than 25,000 confirmed cases in the United States and more than 300 deaths caused by novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19. Cancer patients represent a vulnerable population for COVID-19 due to immunosuppression, frequent exposure to health care facilities and disruption of routine cancer care. Early data indicate a higher complication and mortality rate in COVID-19 positive cancer patients compared to non-cancer patients.

Amit Kulkarni, MD, a clinical fellow in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplant, is leading a cohort study to define the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patterns of cancer care and outcomes to inform future care and develop appropriate mitigation strategies. This is a part of a larger multi-institutional collaborative effort called COIVD-19 Cancer Consortium.

The goals of the study are to:

  1. Establish a large retrospective/prospective cohort of patients with cancer in the context of the COVID19 pandemic
  2. Perform several analyses of the collected data to:
  • Describe patterns of care and care disruption
  • Describe the impact of COVID19 on the cancer clinical research and trials enterprise
  • Describe the management and outcomes of patients with cancer in the COVID19

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.