Since the beginning of 2020, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has limited many aspects of health care delivery. These limitations have affected cancer patients in various ways, raising concerns about worsening morbidity and mortality among this special population. No studies have assessed the impact of the pandemic on the short-term morbidity and mortality among cancer patients. This study aimed to determine the effect of the pandemic on the early clinical outcomes in cancer patients receiving anticancer treatment in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic period.
This included adult patients with solid or hematological tumors undergoing anticancer therapy. We collected data on patient demographics, health status, type of treatment, and morbidity and mortality outcomes. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses to identify possible associations with each variable, including the COVID-19 test results.
The mean age of the patients was 52.32 years, and 69.9% of the population were women. Of the patients, 64.1% were administered curative therapy. The 30-day morbidity and mortality rates were 19.2% and 5.1%, respectively. Ten patients (2.5%) developed COVID-19 during the study period, of whom three died. The mortality rate was 30% and 4.4% in cancer patients with and without COVID-19, respectively. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was associated with higher 30-day morbidity (odds ratio: 8.48, P < .001) and mortality (odds ratio: 3.86, P < .001). The mortality rate in cancer patients receiving anticancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic was similar to that reported in the literature preceding the pandemic