Challenges posed by COVID-19 in cancer patients: A narrative review

Zeinab Mohseni Afshar, Rezvan Hosseinzadeh, Mohammad Barary, Soheil Ebrahimpour, Amirmasoud Alijanpour, Babak Sayad, Dariush Hosseinzadeh, Seyed Rouhollah Miri, Terence T. Sio, Mark J.M. Sullman, Kristin Carson-Chahhoud, Arefeh Babazadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A novel coronavirus, or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In early 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 the sixth public health emergency of international concern. The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially affected many groups within the general population, but particularly those with extant clinical conditions, such as having or being treated for cancer. Cancer patients are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 since the malignancy and chemotherapy may negatively affect the immune system, and their immunocompromised condition also increases the risk of infection. Substantial international efforts are currently underway to develop specific methods for diagnosing and treating COVID-19. However, cancer patients’ risk profiles, management, and outcomes are not well understood. Thus, the main objective of this review is to discuss the relevant evidence to understand the prognosis of COVID-19 infections in cancer patients more clearly, as well as helping to improve the clinical management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • cancer
  • COVID-19
  • immunodeficiency
  • SARS-CoV-2


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