Hem/Onc Roundup: Various Studies Assess COVID-19 Risk in Patients with Cancer, FDA Approves New Anemia Treatment, and more

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Hematology & Oncology section. This week, various studies assessed the management of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a case study published in Blood Advances, researchers detail the account of a patient with multiple myeloma and COVID-19 who was treated with the immunosuppressant tocilizumab and demonstrated gradual recovery, which the researchers said indicates “that tocilizumab is effective in the treatment of novel coronavirus infection.”

An article published in JAMA Oncology detailed the mandatory measures the National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak to reduce the risk of infection in patients with cancer and medical staff. As a result, no staff or patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 after “strict protective measures” for screening and managing patients were implemented.

An international panel of cancer experts is recommended a one-week course of radiotherapy and delaying surgery as the best way to treat patients with bowel cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Reblozyl® (luspatercept-aamt), the first and only erythroid maturation agent, for the treatment of anemia in patients failing an erythropoiesis stimulating agent and requiring two or more red blood cell units over eight weeks. The treatment is indicated for adults with very low- to intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts or myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm with ring sideroblasts and thrombocytosis.

A study published in Thorax found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have never smoked have a higher risk of lung cancer than smokers without COPD. Specifically, never smokers with COPD had more than 2.6 times the incidence of lung cancer compared with never smokers without COPD.

In case you missed it, more hem/onc headlines are featured below: