Risk of COVID-19 in Patients with Cancer Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Nikolai Klebanov, Vartan Pahalyants, William S. Murphy, Nicholas Theodosakis, Leyre Zubiri, R. Monina Klevens, Shawn G. Kwatra, Evelyn Lilly, Kerry L. Reynolds, Yevgeniy R. Semenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the rate of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) among patients with cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study of 1,545 patients with cancer treated with ICIs between July 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020, and 20,418 age-, sex-, and cancer category-matched controls in a large referral hospital system. Confirmed COVID-19 case and mortality data were obtained with Massachusetts Department of Public Health from March 1 through June 19, 2020. Results: The mean age was 66.6 years, and 41.9% were female. There were 22 (1.4%) and 213 (1.0%) COVID-19 cases in the ICI and control groups, respectively. When adjusting for demographics, medical comorbidities, and local infection rates, ICIs did not increase COVID-19 susceptibility. Conclusion: ICIs did not increase the rate of COVID-19. This information may assist patients and their oncologists in decision-making surrounding cancer treatment during this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e898-e901
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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