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A tertiary center experience of multiple myeloma patients with COVID-19: lessons learned and the path forward

By Bo Wang, Oliver Van Oekelen, Tarek Mouhieddine, Diane Marie Del Valle, Joshua Richter, Hearn Jay Cho, Shambavi Richard, Ajai Chari, Sacha Gnjatic, Miriam Merad, Sundar Jagannath, Samir Parekh, Deepu Madduri

Posted 05 Jun 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.04.20122846

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, has resulted in over 100,000 deaths in the United States. Our institution has treated over 2,000 COVID-19 patients during the pandemic in New York City. The pandemic directly impacted cancer patients and the organization of cancer care. Mount Sinai Hospital has a large and diverse multiple myeloma (MM) population. Herein, we report the characteristics of COVID-19 infection and serological response in MM patients in a large tertiary care institution in New York. Methods: We performed a retrospective study on a cohort of 58 patients with a plasma-cell disorder (54 MM, 4 smoldering MM) who developed COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. We report epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristics including persistence of viral detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing, treatments initiated, and outcomes. Results: Of the 58 patients diagnosed with COVID-19, 36 were hospitalized and 22 were managed at home. The median age was 67 years; 52% of patients were male and 63% were non-white. Hypertension (64%), hyperlipidemia (62%), obesity (37%), diabetes mellitus (28%), chronic kidney disease (24%) and lung disease (21%) were the most common comorbidities. In the total cohort, 14 patients (24%) died. Older age (>70 years), male sex, cardiovascular risk, and patients not in complete remission (CR) or stringent CR were significantly (p<0.05) associated with hospitalization. Among hospitalized patients, laboratory findings demonstrated elevation of traditional inflammatory markers (CRP, ferritin, D-dimer) and a significant (p<0.05) association between elevated inflammatory markers, severe hypogammaglobulinemia, non-white race, and mortality. Ninety-six percent (22/23) of patients developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 at a median of 32 days after initial diagnosis. Median time to PCR negativity was 43 (range 19-68) days from initial positive PCR. Conclusions: Drug exposure and MM disease status at the time of contracting COVID-19 had no bearing on mortality. Mounting a severe inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 and severe hypogammaglobulinemia were associated with higher mortality. The majority of patients mounted an antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. These findings pave a path to identification of vulnerable MM patients who need early intervention to improve outcome in future outbreaks of COVID-19.

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