COVID-19 Severity in CLL Correlates With 3 Disease Characteristics

This article was originally published by Targeted Oncology

The severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases with age in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, age and the existence of comorbidities may not impact death from COVID-19, according to results from a retrospective international study published in Leukemia.

The study was conducted through a collaboration between the European Research Initiative on CLL (ERIC) and CLL Campus. Study results came from a survey completed by 121 investigators at 118 sites around the world. Of the survey responder, 58 investigators confirmed that there were COVID-19 cases in their CLL cohort. The majority of the cases were identified in Europe (74%), followed by Asia (13.6%), Latin America (4.2%), Africa (3.4%), Canada (2.5%), and Australia (1.7%). Altogether, 156 cases of COVID-19 in patients with CLL were reported from a pool of 15,083 patients. COVID-19 cases were symptomatic and required hospitalization in 141 patients. Preventative measures for SARS-CoV-2 were reported by all but 0.8% of the sites.

“To the best of our knowledge, we present here the largest European series of patients with CLL infected by SARS-CoV-2 and experiencing COVID-19. Among the European cases (96.8% of the total) included in this project, almost 90% originated from Italy and Spain, hence mirroring the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe with Italy being the first country in a number of infected individuals followed by Spain, with a lower incidence,” wrote the study authors led by Paolo Ghia, MD, PhD of the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele.