The EHA-IDWP developed an observational registry collecting data on COVID-19 infection in patients who received CAR-T therapy
The prevalence of COVID-19 was 4.8%, and overall mortality was 50%, highlighting the need for prevention of infection in these patients.
Patients receiving chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells) therapy may be particularly susceptible to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of several factors including the immunosuppression associated to the underlying disease and delayed cytopenias. Regrettably, data on outcomes of CAR-T recipients with COVID-19 are extremely scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 in patients treated with CAR-T therapy. The European Hematology Association - Scientific Working Group Infection in Hematology endorsed a survey to collect and analyze data from patients developing COVID-19 after CAR-T therapy. Overall, 459 patients treated with CAR-T cells were reported from 18 European centers. The prevalence of COVID-19 cases was 4.8%. Median time from CAR-T therapy and COVID-19 diagnosis was 169 days. Severe infection occurred in 66.7% of patients and 43.3% of the subjects required admission to ICU. The COVID-19 mortality was 33%. In multivariable analysis, the disease status at the time of COVID-19 trended marginally towards adverse outcome (P=0.075). In conclusion, we documented a high fatality rate for CAR-T patients with COVID-19, supporting the need to design successful interventions to mitigate the risk of infection in this vulnerable group of patients.