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Patients with haematological malignancies have a high risk of severe infection and death from SARS-CoV-2. In this prospective observational study, we investigated the impact of cancer type, disease activity, and treatment in 877 unvaccinated UK patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and active haematological cancer. The primary end-point was all-cause mortality. In a multivariate analysis adjusted for age, sex and comorbidities, the highest mortality was in patients with acute leukaemia [odds ratio (OR) = 1·73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·1-2·72, P = 0·017] and myeloma (OR 1·3, 95% CI 0·96-1·76, P = 0·08). Having uncontrolled cancer (newly diagnosed awaiting treatment as well as relapsed or progressive disease) was associated with increased mortality risk (OR = 2·45, 95% CI 1·09-5·5, P = 0·03), as was receiving second or beyond line of treatment (OR = 1·7, 95% CI 1·08-2·67, P = 0·023). We found no association between recent cytotoxic chemotherapy or anti-CD19/anti-CD20 treatment and increased risk of death within the limitations of the cohort size. Therefore, disease control is an important factor predicting mortality in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection alongside the possible risks of therapies such as cytotoxic treatment or anti-CD19/anti-CD20 treatments.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of haematology

Publication Date





892 - 901


Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Department of Haematology, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK.


UKCCMP team, Humans, Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Hematologic Neoplasms, Antigens, CD20, Risk Factors, Prospective Studies, Adult, Female, Male, Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological, COVID-19