Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

Mini Oral - SARS-CoV-2 and cancer 1

1671MO - Provision of palliative care for patients with cancer and SARS-CoV-2 infection


18 Sep 2020


Mini Oral - SARS-CoV-2 and cancer 1


End-of-Life Care;  COVID-19 and Cancer

Tumour Site


Gehan Soosaipillai


Annals of Oncology (2020) 31 (suppl_4): S934-S973. 10.1016/annonc/annonc289


G.B. Soosaipillai1, A. Sureda2, C. Maluquer Artigal2, S. Benafif1, N. Chopra1, N. Harbeck3, R. Wuerstlein3, R. Mesia Nin4, E. Felip4, D. Ottaviani1, M. Galazi1, A.J.X. Lee1, R. Salazar5, R. Sharkey6, R. Reyes7, J. Evans8, M.C. Carmona Garcia9, J. Tabernero10, A. Prat11, D.J. Pinato8

Author affiliations

  • 1 Cancer Division, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NW1 2PG - London/GB
  • 2 Haematology Department, ICO Hospitalet, Hospitalet de Llobregat, IDIBELL, Universitat de Barcelona, 199-203, 08908 - Barcelona/ES
  • 3 Breast Center, Department Of Ob Gyn, Ludwig Maximilians University Hospital- Grosshadern, 81377 - Munich/DE
  • 4 Medical Oncology Department, Institut Català d'Oncologia-Hospital Duran i Reynals, 08907 - Hospitalet de Llobregat/ES
  • 5 Medical Oncology Department, ICO L´Hospitalet, Oncobell Program (IDIBELL), CIBERONC, Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 - Hospitalet de Llobregat/ES
  • 6 Oncology And National Centre For Hiv Malignancy, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, SW10 9NH - London/GB
  • 7 Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES
  • 8 Department Of Surgery And Cancer, Imperial College London - Hammersmith Hospital, W12 0HS - London/GB
  • 9 Medical Oncology Department, Institut Català d'Oncologia Girona - ICO Girona, Hospital Universitari de Girona Doctor Josep Trueta, 17007 - Girona/ES
  • 10 Medical Oncology Dept., Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, 8035 - Barcelona/ES
  • 11 Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Clinic y Provincial de Barcelona, 08036 - Barcelona/ES


Login to access the resources on OncologyPRO.

If you do not have an ESMO account, please create one for free.

Abstract 1671MO


Patients with cancer (pts) are particularly vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection (C19). In this study we aimed to characterise the supportive care needs of hospitalised pts with C19, evaluate indications for specialist palliative care (SPC) referral and describe end of life (EOL) care for in-hospital decedents.


From the OnCOVID database (n=892) we analysed a subset of 191 pts hospitalised between 9/3 and 27/4/2020 in 9 centers from the UK (n=110, 57.5%), Spain (n=79, 41.5%) and Germany (n=2, 1%). Eligible pts were those with complete SPC referral data including EOL symptomatic burden.


Of 191 eligible pts, 101 were male (52.9%) with mean age (±SD) of 68±12 years. Most prevalent tumour sites were genito-urinary (n=41, 21.5%) and breast cancer (n=33, 17.3%), with non-metastatic disease (n=118, 63.7%). At C19 diagnosis, 96 pts (50.3%) were on active cancer therapy, 95 (49.7%) had >1 co-morbidity, most commonly hypertension (n=95, 49.7%) and diabetes (n=41, 21.5%). Median Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status (AKPS) score was 70 (IQR 30). In total, 114 pts received SPC input, mostly from hospital-based teams (n=98, 85.9%), for 9 (±11) days before death or discharge for symptom control (n=101, 52.9%), psychological support (n=79, 41.4%) or advance care planning (n=78, 40.8%). In total 161 pts (84.3%) had evidence of a documented treatment escalation plan, with 84 (43.9%) having a valid DNACPR order. At database censoring, 72 pts had died (37.6%), 67 were prescribed anticipatory medications including opioids (n=51, 70.8%) and benzodiazepines (n=44, 61.1%). Amongst 64 in-hospital decedents, only 14 died in oncology wards (21.8%). Breathlessness (n=56, 87.5%), agitation (n=31, 48.4%) and confusion (n=23, 35.9%) were most common EOL symptoms. EOL symptomatic burden was not correlated with age, co-morbidities or AKPS at C19 diagnosis (p>0.05).


In the early phase of the C19 pandemic, the high in-hospital mortality from C19 in pts occurred mostly outside dedicated oncology inpatient areas. Complex palliative care needs and high EOL symptomatic burden of C19+ pts should inform SPC service planning in this population to optimise supportive and EOL care.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Has not received any funding.


J. Tabernero: Advisory/Consultancy: Array Biopharma, AstraZeneca, Bayer, BeiGene, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chugai, Genentech, Inc., Genmab A/S, Halozyme, Imugene Limited, Inflection Biosciences Limited, Ipsen, Kura Oncology, Lilly, MSD, Menarini, Merck Serono, Merrimack, Merus, Molecular Partners, Novartis, Peptomyc, Pfizer, Pharmacyclics, ProteoDesign SL, Rafael Pharmaceuticals, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Sanofi, SeaGen, Seattle Genetics, Servier, Symphogen, Taiho, VCN Biosciences, Biocartis, Foundation Medicine, HalioDX SAS and Roche Diagnostics. A. Prat: Advisory/Consultancy: Takeda, Sanofi. D.J. Pinato: Honoraria (self), Lecture fees: ViiV Healthcare; Honoraria (self), Lecture fees: Bayer Healthcare; Research grant/Funding (institution), Travel/Accommodation/Expenses: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer Healthcare; Advisory/Consultancy: Mina Therapeutics, EISAI, Roche, Astra Zeneca; Research grant/Funding (institution): MSD. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.