Cancer Patients Face High Mortality from COVID-19

BRONX, N.Y., May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — People with cancer who develop COVID-19 are much more likely to die from the disease than those without cancer, according to physician-researchers at Montefiore Health System and <a target="_blank"…

BRONX, N.Y., May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — People with cancer who develop COVID-19 are much more likely to die from the disease than those without cancer, according to physician-researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The study, published today in the online edition of Cancer Discovery, is the largest so far to assess outcomes for patients with cancer who have also been infected with COVID-19.


«Our findings emphasize the need to prevent cancer patients from contracting COVID-19 and—if they do—to identify and closely monitor these individuals for dangerous symptoms,» said Vikas Mehta, M.D., M.P.H., a co-lead author of the study, a surgical oncologist at Montefiore and associate professor of otorhinolaryngology—head and neck surgery at Einstein. «We hope that our findings can inform states and communities that have not yet been so severely struck by this pandemic about the unique vulnerability cancer patients face.»

The study involved 218 cancer patients who tested positive for COVID-19 from March 18 to April 8, 2020 at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York City, one of the regions in the United States hit hardest by the pandemic. A total of 61 cancer patients died from COVID-19, a dramatically high case-fatality rate of 28%. (The mortality rate for COVID-19 in the United States is 5.8%, according to the World Health Organization.)

«A key element is that mortality appears to be more closely related to frailty, age, and co-morbidities than to active therapy for cancer,» said co-senior author Balazs Halmos, M.D., M.S., director of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program at Montefiore and professor of medicine at Einstein.

«Our data suggest that we should not stop lifesaving cancer therapies, but rather develop strategies to minimize potential COVID-19 exposures and re-evaluate therapies for our most vulnerable cancer populations,» explained co-senior author Amit Verma, M.B.B.S., director of the division of hemato-oncology at Montefiore and professor of medicine and of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein.

The time period during which these patients were treated was earlier in the epidemic when testing was almost exclusively done in sicker, symptomatic patients who required hospitalization. This may partially explain the high fatality rate within the study’s cancer population. However, even when compared to mortality rates in non-cancer patients at Montefiore and across New York City during the same time period, cancer patients demonstrated a significantly higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

As a group, COVID-19 patients with hematologic (blood) cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, had the highest mortality rate: 37% (20 of 54 patients). For patients with solid malignancies, the mortality rate was 25% (41 of 164). Striking differences were observed among specific solid cancers: the mortality rate for patients with lung cancer was 55% and colorectal cancer was 38%, compared with mortality rates of 14% for breast cancer and 20% for prostate cancer.

Certain underlying conditions—older age, hypertension, heart disease, and chronic lung disease—were significantly associated with increased mortality among cancer patients with COVID-19.

A detailed analysis of patients with cancer who died from COVID-19 shows that more than half of these individuals—37 of 61—had been in places with a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as nursing homes, hospitals or emergency departments within the 30 days before being diagnosed with COVID-19. This was before widespread social distancing had been implemented.

Montefiore has already changed clinical practice as a result of the study’s findings, by using telemedicine and early and aggressive social distancing for cancer patients, and by opening a dedicated cancer outpatient and inpatient clinical service. It has also instituted bilingual peer counseling and deployed social workers and food deliveries to its at-risk population.

Montefiore is able to quickly identify patients with a known history of cancer who test positive for COVID-19 based on a daily collection and collation of data across the health system. This allows the care team to act immediately to ensure appropriate care for these individuals and track outcomes.

The study’s other co-lead authors are Sanjay Goel, M.B.B.S., and Rafi Kabarriti, M.D. The paper is titled «Case Fatality Rate of Cancer Patients with COVID-19 in a New York Hospital System.»

Additional Montefiore-Einstein authors are: Daniel Cole, M.D., Mendel Goldfinger, M.D., Ana Acuna-Villaorduna, M.D., Kith Pradhan, Ph.D., Raja Thota. M.S., Stan Reissman, M.S.W., Joseph A Sparano, M.D., Benjamin A. Gartrell, M.D., Richard V. Smith, M.D., Nitin Ohri, M.D., Madhur Garg, M.D., Andrew D. Racine, M.D., Ph.D., Shalom Kalnicki, M.D. and Roman Perez-Soler, M.D.

This study was supported in part by the Albert Einstein Cancer Center (P30CA013330).

About Montefiore Health System
Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 11 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter and view us on Facebook and YouTube.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2019-20 academic year, Einstein is home to 724 M.D. students, 158 Ph.D. students, 106 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 265 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 1,800 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2019, Einstein received more than $178 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States through Montefiore and an affiliation network involving hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and on Long Island. For more information, please visit, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube.

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SOURCE Montefiore Health System; Albert Einstein College of Medicine

ASEAN acuerda siete esfuerzos de cooperación turística en medio de la pandemia por COVID-19

JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 de mayo de 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Los países miembros de ASEAN acordaron siete esfuerzos de cooperación en el sector turístico como medida de mitigación hacia el sector turístico, considerado el sector más afectado por la pandemia de COVID-19.

<img id="prnejpgec4dleft" title="Indonesia's Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo." style="HEIGHT: 267px; WIDTH: 400px" border="0" alt="Indonesia's…

JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 de mayo de 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Los países miembros de ASEAN acordaron siete esfuerzos de cooperación en el sector turístico como medida de mitigación hacia el sector turístico, considerado el sector más afectado por la pandemia de COVID-19.

Indonesia's Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo.

La Viceministra de Turismo y Economía Creativa, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, representó a Indonesia en la reunión ministerial de turismo de los países de ASEAN titulada «Reunión Especial de los Ministros de Turismo de ASEAN (M-ATM) sobre la Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)» el miércoles por la noche (29/4/2020).

La reunión dio lugar a una declaración conjunta que contenía siete puntos de acuerdo de todos los ministros de turismo de los países de ASEAN para fortalecer la cooperación turística, uno de los sectores económicos más afectados por la pandemia.

  1. El Ministro de Turismo acuerda fomentar la coordinación de ASEAN para acelerar el intercambio de información sobre los viajes, especialmente en lo relacionado con las normas sanitarias y otras medidas necesarias para los países miembros de ASEAN para controlar la propagación del brote de COVID-19 mediante el mayor funcionamiento del Equipo de Comunicación sobre Crisis Turística de ASEAN (ATCCT, por sus siglas en inglés).
  2. Intensificar la colaboración de las Organizaciones Nacionales de Turismo (ONT) de ASEAN con otros sectores pertinentes de ASEAN, especialmente en los sectores de la salud, la información, el transporte, la inmigración y los socios externos de ASEAN, para aplicar colectivamente las medidas integrales, transparentes y rápidas en la mitigación y reducción del impacto de la COVID-29 y otras crisis en el futuro.
  3. Los Ministros de Turismo también mejorarán una cooperación más estrecha para compartir información y mejores prácticas entre los países miembros de ASEAN, así como con los socios de diálogo de ASEAN en el apoyo al sector turístico.
  4. La cooperación abarca la aplicación de políticas y medidas eficaces para aumentar la confianza de los visitantes nacionales e internacionales del Sudeste Asiático, incluida la elaboración de normas y directrices para mejorar los factores de seguridad y salud para proteger a los empleados y las comunidades de la industria hotelera y otras relacionadas con el turismo.
  5. Los Ministros de Turismo también acuerdan apoyar el desarrollo y la aplicación del plan de recuperación de crisis después de la COVID-19, así como los esfuerzos en la promoción y comercialización del turismo conjunto con el fin de promover ASEAN como destino turístico único.
  6. Los Ministros de Turismo acuerdan acelerar la aplicación de la micro y la macro economía, proporcionar apoyo técnico y estímulo financiero, alivio fiscal, capacidad y mejora de las habilidades, especialmente sobre la habilidad digital de las partes interesadas en la industria del turismo y los viajes.
  7. Acelerar la cooperación con los interlocutores de diálogo de ASEAN, las organizaciones internacionales y las industrias pertinentes para construir un Sudeste Asiático fuerte y preparado para aplicar y gestionar eficazmente el turismo sostenible e inclusivo después de la crisis.

Angela declaró que Indonesia está comprometida con todos los países miembros de ASEAN a fomentar una visión compartida para mitigar y restaurar el sector turístico, tanto durante como después de la pandemia de COVID-19.

«Varios estudios afirman que se necesitan, al menos, cinco años para que el sector turístico vuelva a la condición normal después de la COVID-19. Pero creo que ASEAN es mejor que eso, el turismo en nuestra región se recuperará más rápido bajo una condición, tenemos que fortalecer la cooperación y la colaboración,» dijo Angela.

Los países miembros de ASEAN informaron de los resultados del turismo, que disminuye alrededor de un 36 por ciento en el primer trimestre de 2020, en comparación con el mismo período de 2018 y 2019.

El número de visitas de turistas internacionales va a disminuir alrededor del 34 por ciento, y la disponibilidad actual de habitaciones está en el punto más bajo. Además, hay muchas cancelaciones de la industria de turismo y viajes.

Los países miembros de ASEAN han revisado o están corrigiendo su objetivo de visitas de turistas internacionales e ingresos del sector turístico.

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