Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Coronavirus Disease 2019-infected Adult Cancer Patients in the Philippines from March to December 2020

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Phillippine Journal of Internal Medicine


Background. Data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of Filipino cancer patients who acquired the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are limited and local information is lacking. Here we characterize the outcomes of patients with cancer and COVID-19.

Methods. Medical records of Filipino cancer patients with COVID-19 from the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), De La Salle – University Medical Center (DLS-UMC), and St Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) from March to December 2020 were reviewed.

Results. Sixty-nine cancer patients were identified to have COVID-19. The mean age was 53 years (range 19-88) and 45 (65%) patients were female. The most prevalent malignancies were from the gastrointestinal tract (16 [23%]) and the breast (14 [20%]). The majority (34 [49%]) had metastatic disease and had a functional status of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 2 or worse (39 [57%]). Forty-two (61%) patients had active oncologic treatment given for the past three months and twenty-four (35%) of these patients were on chemotherapy. The most common symptoms upon presentation were cough (34 [49%]) followed by dyspnea (28 [41%]). COVID-19 severity of this series was as follows: 15 mild (22%), 32 moderate (46%), 7 severe (10%), and 15 critical (22%). The majority received intravenous antibiotics (54 [78%]), investigational treatments (27 [39%]), and steroids (20 [29%]). Common complications were acute respiratory failure (20 [29%]), acute respiratory distress syndrome (17 [25]), and septic shock (15 [22%]). At the end of the collection period, 21 (30%) cancer patients died. The mean length of hospital stay was 22 days.

Conclusion. Based on the findings of our case series, ECOG 2 and higher, metastatic stage, higher neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio showed a trend to worse outcomes. Cancer-related treatment within the past months did not appear to affect outcomes.

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