ISSN: 0034-8376
eISSN: 2564-8896






Impact of COVID-19 on the Diagnosis and Management of Multiple Myeloma: Experience from a Canadian Center



Victor H. Jiménez-Zepeda, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta; Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Patrick Yau, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Douglas Stewart, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jowher Berhan, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Carole Chambers, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Holly Lee, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jason Tay, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta; Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Peter Duggan, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta; Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sylvia McCulloch, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Paola Neri, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta; Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Nizar Bahlis, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta; Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Background: The impact of coronavirus disease-19 on the management of multiple myeloma (MM) has been recognized. However, the real effect on clinical outcomes remains poorly understood. Objective: We describe a local experience of the management of MM patients and report their outcomes during the current pandemic. Methods: All consecutive symptomatic MM patients seen at our center since 03/20 were evaluated. Results: A cohort of 156 patients diagnosed from 01/19 to 12/20 was analyzed to interrogate differences in presentation patterns. A total of 553 MM patients were seen and/or treated at Tom Baker Cancer Center in the year of 2020. From those, 47.1% (n = 261) were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Sixteen patients tested positive and data are presented. In addition, a decrease of 21.7% in the rate of new smoldering MM/MM diagnosis was observed in 2020 as compared to 2019. Further, an increase in deaths was also observed in 2020. Conclusions: Our study confirms an increase lethality for MM patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. A balance between safety and need for cancer control should be emphasized.



Keywords: Myeloma. SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19.