Pediatric Cancer Patients At No Greater Risk of Dying from COVID-19

Children with cancer who test positive for COVID-19 do not appear to have an augmented risk for severe virus infection compared to healthy children, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Lead author, Gerard Millen, Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Fellow in the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit said via a press release: “The COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly in the early part of 2020 and there were initial concerns about the severity of the infection in adults with cancer. Whilst children overall seemed to be less severely affected, little was known about the effects in children with cancer.

In this study, researchers collated real time outcome data on all children with cancer in the UK who on admission to hospital tested positive for COVID-19 so that the severity of their illness could be collected nationally.

According to the results, no patients died from COVID-19 and only 5% required intensive care support. “The results are reassuring to parents around the country that children with cancer are at no greater risk of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19 than other children.”

 

“This has allowed the CCLG to provide evidence-based guidance to support parents and families of children with cancer to assess their risks and make informed decisions about family life during the pandemic, including supporting children, where appropriate, to stop shielding where the risks are lower than originally thought, and return to school to minimise the impact on their education.”