Key Points

  • High but variable mortality for hospitalized MM patients ( 27% to 57%)

  • Uncontrolled MM in the setting of COVID-19 infection was associated with an increased risk of death

The primary cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with multiple myeloma(MM) is an infection. Therefore there is great concern about the susceptibility to the outcome of COVID-19 infected patients with MM. This retrospective study describes the baseline characteristics and outcome data of COVID-19 infection in 650 patients with plasma cell disorders, collected by the International Myeloma Society to understand the initial challenges faced by myeloma patients during COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis were performed for hospitalized MM patients. Among hospitalized patinets, the median age was 69 years, and nearly all patients(96%) had MM. Approximately 36% were recently diagnosed(2019-2020), and 54% of patients were receiving first-line therapy. Thirty-three percent of patients have died, with significant geographic variability, ranging from 27% to 57% of hospitalized patients. Univariate analysis identified age, ISS3, high-risk disease, renal disease, suboptimal myeloma control(active or progressive disease), and one or more comorbidities as risk factors for higher rates of death. Neither history of transplant, including within a year of COVID-19 diagnosis, nor other anti-MM treatments were associated with outcomes. Multivariate analysis found that only age, high-risk MM, renal disease, and suboptimal MM control remained independent predictors of adverse outcome with COVID-19 infection. The management of MM in the era of COVID-19 requires careful consideration of patient and disease-related factors to decrease the risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection, while not compromising disease control through appropriate MM treatment. This study provides initial data to develop recommendations for the management of MM patients with COVID-19 infection.

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