NASHVILLE, Tenn. & MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) announced today the findings of a recent cohort study exploring outcomes of COVID-19 patients with thoracic cancer. The results from the study were published today in The Lancet Oncology and suggest a high hospital admission rate and higher mortality rate for these patients—suggesting there is significant room for improvement in the treatment of these vulnerable patients during the pandemic.
Thoracic malignancy refers to lung cancers, lung carcinoid tumors, thymic malignancies, and mesothelioma. There are more than 2 million cases globally of these cancers every year. Recently the American Cancer Society reported on a reduction in cancer mortality over the last few years and this was thought to be improvements in treatment options for patients with lung cancer.
For the study, TERAVOLT studied 200 patients from eight countries between the periods of March 26, 2020 and April 15, 2020. Of the 200 patients with COVID-19 studied, 76% of patients were hospitalized and 33% died, with a majority of the 147 patients who met criterial for intensive care unit (ICU) admission not being admitted to the ICU. The study shows the mortality rates of COVID-19 in thoracic cancer patients to be higher than any other kind of cancer patients.
“There are some critical outcomes of this study that the medical community must pay serious attention to,” said Dr. Marina Garassino, Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Unit at Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Cancer Institute in Milan and Chief Investigator of Research for TERAVOLT. “Most importantly, we must look at what is keeping these patients out of ICU and whether physician or institution-based biased plays a role.”
Dr. Leora Horn, Clinical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Vanderbilt University and Co-founder of TERAVOLT, agrees. “We must not stop treating our thoracic patients during this time, we need to continue to be aggressive of treatment with them during COVID-19.”
Some other takeaways from the organization and the report include:
- Trying to keep these patients out of hospitals for routine visits or treatments as much as possible by using more telehealth and in-home resources
- Lung cancer patients should not be excluded from ICU beds and given the same opportunities for apriority treatment as other patients
- TERAVOLT demonstrates unprecedented collaboration among international experts to deal with the sensitive nature of Lung Cancer patients during COVID-19
- Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer and their needs must be addressed with a sense of urgency
The TERAVOLT study can be found on thelancet.com as of June 12, 2020.
The Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration, also known as TERAVOLT, is an international consortium that was created to understand the impact of COVID-19 on patients with thoracic malignancies. Made up of medical experts from leading institutions around the world, the organization aims to identify and understand risk factors associated with morbidity and mortality in patients with thoracic malignancies who are infected with COVID-19 as well as determine therapies that may impact patient survival. TERAVOLT also provides collaborators and the global medical community with guidance on the management of patients with thoracic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about TERAVOLT, visit www.terravolt-consortium.org