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Background: Cancer patients are considered to be highly susceptible to viral infections, however, the comprehensive features of COVID-19 in these patients remained largely unknown. The present study aimed to assess the clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 in a large cohort of cancer patients. Design, Setting, and Participants: Data of consecutive cancer patients admitted to 33 designated hospitals for COVID-19 in Hubei province, China from December 17, 2019 to March 18, 2020 were retrospectively collected. The follow-up cutoff date was April 02, 2020. The clinical course and survival status of the cancer patients with COVID-19 were measured, and the potential risk factors of severe events and death were assessed through univariable and multivariable analyses. Results: A total of 283 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients (50% male; median age, 63.0 years [IQR, 55.0 to 70.0]) with more than 20 cancer types were included. The overall mortality rate was 18% (50/283), and the median hospitalization stay for the survivors was 26 days. Amongst all, 76 (27%) were former cancer patients with curative resections for over five years without recurrence. The current cancer patients exhibited worse outcomes versus former cancer patients (overall survival, HR=2.45, 95%CI 1.10 to 5.44, log-rank p=0.02; mortality rate, 21% vs 9%). Of the 207 current cancer patients, 95 (46%) have received recent anti-tumor treatment, and the highest mortality rate was observed in the patients receiving recent chemotherapy (33%), followed by surgery (26%), other anti-tumor treatments (19%), and no anti-tumor treatment (15%). In addition, a higher mortality rate was observed in patients with lymphohematopoietic malignancies (LHM) (53%, 9/17), and all seven LHM patients with recent chemotherapy died. Multivariable analysis indicated that LHM (p=0.001) was one of the independent factors associating with critical illness or death. Conclusions: This is the first systematic study comprehensively depicting COVID-19 in a large cancer cohort. Patients with tumors, especially LHM, may have poorer prognosis of COVID-19. Additional cares are warranted and non-emergency anti-tumor treatment should be cautiously used for these patients under the pandemic.

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