Breast cancer treatments do not increase risk of Covid-19 infection or death

Breast cancer treatments do not increase risk of Covid-19 infection or death

  • May 20, 2021
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Cancer drugs capable of weakening the body’s immune defenses are no more likely to increase the risk of infection or death from Covid-19 than breast cancer therapies that do not undermine the immune system, according to a new study published in the journal ‘JCO Global Oncology’. Researchers say the results challenge initial concerns that such treatments, which poison cancer cells, were too dangerous to continue during the pandemic.

Led by researchers at NYU Langone Health and its Perlmutter Cancer Center in the United States, the new research, which involved more than 3,000 women treated for breast cancer at the height of the pandemic in New York City, showed that only 64, 2%, contracted the virus. Of this group, 10 died from COVID-19, a figure the study authors say is low and expected for this age group, regardless of the cancer.

Those receiving cytotoxic, or cell-killing, chemotherapy were at about the same risk of coronavirus infection as those taking other classes of drugs with minimal impact on immune system defenses.

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