Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

MSK Kids Study: Children with Cancer are Not at a Higher Risk for COVID-19 Infection or Morbidity

MSK Kids researchers publish report of screening and testing for COVID-19 in pediatric cancer patients in New York City

Newswise — May 13, 2020, NEW YORK CITY — Researchers from MSK Kids at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) found that children with cancer are not at a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19. This new research led by Andrew Kung, MD, PhD, Chair of MSK Kids and his colleagues was published today in JAMA Oncology.  MSK Kids is one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the United States with a patient population that includes children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and a small proportion with non-oncological diseases such as bone marrow failure and immunodeficiencies.

Bottom Line: Pediatric cancer patients are no more vulnerable than other children to COVID-19 infection or morbidity resulting from COVID-19. Of all children with cancer infected with COVID-19, 95 percent had mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization. MSK Kids clinicians also tested asymptomatic children with cancer finding only a 2.5 percent rate of positivity compared to nearly 15 percent in their adult caregivers. Only half of the children with COVID-19 positive caregivers were themselves also COVID-19 positive. The researchers also found a very significant sex skewing with the vast majority of COVID-19 infections occurring in males. Together, these results suggest that children with cancer are not more susceptible than other children to infection or symptoms resulting from COVID-19, and that children are not an unrecognized reservoir of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Methods and Findings: From March 10 through April 12, 2020, MSK Kids researchers instituted a screening and testing plan to mitigate risk associated with infection with COVID-19. MSK Kids patients were screened for exposure to contacts with known COVID-19 infection or for the presence of symptoms of COVID-19 illness at MSK.  Researches performed COVID-19 testing on pediatric patients and their adult caregivers.  Of the 178 unique pediatric cancer patients tested, the rate of positivity for COVID-19 was 29.3 percent in children with symptoms, but only 2.5 percent in asymptomatic children. Of the 20 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, only 3 were female.

Only one patient with COVID-19 illness required non-critical care hospitalization for COVID-19 associated symptoms. All other pediatric patients had mild disease symptoms and were managed at home. Of the 74 adult caregivers tested, 13 caregivers of 10 patients were found to be positive for COVID-19, including a 14.7 percent rate of COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic caregivers.  Only half of the patients with COVID-19 positive caregivers were themselves also COVID-19 positive, suggesting low infectivity in children despite close household contacts.

While the overall numbers in the study are small, the data confirms that the overall morbidity of COVID-19 illness in pediatric cancer patients is low with only 5 percent requiring hospitalization for symptoms of COVID-19 infection; and that the rate of COVID-19 infection among asymptomatic pediatric patients is very low.

Journal: “COVID-19 in Children with Cancer in New York City” was published in the May 13, 2020 edition of JAMA Oncology.

Author Commentary: “We are encouraged by these latest findings that kids with cancer are not more endangered by COVID-19 and their symptoms are mild like in healthy children,” said Andrew Kung, MD, PhD, and corresponding author on the study. “These findings allow us to continue lifesaving cancer-directed therapy with standard precautions and safeguards but without heightened concern about adverse effects from COVID-19 infection.”

###

About Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK):

As the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan Kettering has devoted more than 135 years to exceptional patient care, influential educational programs, and innovative research to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control and, ultimately, cure cancer. MSK is home to more than 20,000 physicians, scientists, nurses, and staff united by a relentless dedication to conquering cancer. Today, we are one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, with state-of-the-art science and technology supporting groundbreaking clinical studies, personalized treatment, and compassionate care for our patients. We also train the next generation of clinical and scientific leaders in oncology through our continually evolving educational programs, here and around the world. Year after year, we are ranked among the top two cancer hospitals in the country, consistently recognized for our expertise in adult and pediatric oncology specialties. www.mskcc.org.

 

 




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2451
Released: 2-Jul-2020 12:30 PM EDT
Tiny mineral particles are better vehicles for promising gene therapy
University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers have developed a safer and more efficient way to deliver a promising new method for treating cancer and liver disorders and for vaccination — including a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Therapeutics that has advanced to clinical trials with humans.

Newswise: Newer variant of COVID-19–causing virus dominates global infections
Released: 2-Jul-2020 12:10 PM EDT
Newer variant of COVID-19–causing virus dominates global infections
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Research out today in the journal Cell shows that a specific change in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus virus genome, previously associated with increased viral transmission and the spread of COVID-19, is more infectious in cell culture.

Newswise: From Wuhan to San Diego—How a mutation on the novel coronavirus has come to dominate the globe
Released: 2-Jul-2020 12:05 PM EDT
From Wuhan to San Diego—How a mutation on the novel coronavirus has come to dominate the globe
La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Two variants of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), called G614 and D614, were circulating in mid-March. A new study shows that the G version of the virus has come to dominate cases around the world. They report that this mutation does not make the virus more deadly, but it does help the virus copy itself, resulting in a higher viral load, or "titer," in patients.

Released: 2-Jul-2020 11:50 AM EDT
New Study Explains Potential Causes for “Happy Hypoxia” Condition in COVID-19 Patients
Loyola Medicine

A new research study provides possible explanations for COVID-19 patients who present with extremely low, otherwise life-threatening levels of oxygen, but no signs of dyspnea (difficulty breathing). This new understanding of the condition, known as silent hypoxemia or “happy hypoxia,” could prevent unnecessary intubation and ventilation in patients during the current and expected second wave of coronavirus.

Released: 2-Jul-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Stemming the Spread of Misinformation on Social Media
Association for Psychological Science

New research reported in the journal Psychological Science finds that priming people to think about accuracy could make them more discerning in what they subsequently share on social media.

29-Jun-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Coronavirus damages the endocrine system
Endocrine Society

People with endocrine disorders may see their condition worsen as a result of COVID-19, according to a new review published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Released: 2-Jul-2020 8:50 AM EDT
Learn from the pandemic to prevent environmental catastrophe, scientists argue
University of Cambridge

• COVID-19 is comparable to climate and extinction emergencies, say scientists from the UK and US – all share features such as lagged impacts, feedback loops, and complex dynamics. • Delayed action in the pandemic cost lives and economic growth, just as it will with environmental crises – but on a scale “too grave to contemplate”.

Released: 1-Jul-2020 5:30 PM EDT
COVID-19 seed grants awarded to 7 ISU research projects
Iowa State University

Iowa State's COVID-19 Research Seed Grant program will support the initial stages of high-risk/high-reward projects that address the COVID-19 crisis.

Released: 1-Jul-2020 4:30 PM EDT
National Survey on COVID-19 Pandemic Shows Significant Mental Health Impact
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The findings of a nationwide survey assessing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional wellbeing of U.S. adults show 90 percent of survey respondents reported experiencing emotional distress related to the pandemic.


Showing results

110 of 2451

close
0.86221