OBJECTIVE: Patients with underlying diseases are more vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of this study was to investigate cancer incidence in patients with COVID-19 and to determine whether cancer was associated with mortality among patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Electronic searches of PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, and medRxiv were conducted to collect studies that provided data regarding the incidence and mortality of cancer patients with COVID-19. Meta-analyses were used to estimate pooled incidences, risk ratios (RRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity among studies was detected using I (2) statistics. RESULTS: A total of 19 retrospective studies involving 63,019 patients (2,682 patients with cancer) were included. Meta-analysis showed that the pooled incidence of cancer in COVID-19 patients was 6% (95% CI: 3%-9%). The mortality rate of COVID-19 patients with cancer was higher than that of those without cancer [risk ratio (RR): 1.8, 95% CI: 1.38-2.35, P < 0.01]. Studies on specific types of cancer showed that among COVID-19 patients, the mortality rate of lung cancer patients was higher than that of patients without lung cancer (RR: 1.8, 95% CI: 0.85-3.80, P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with cancer were more susceptible to COVID-19. As a risk factor, cancer increased mortality among COVID-19 patients. Among COVID-19 patients with cancer, those who had lung cancer had a higher mortality than those without lung cancer. Our findings suggested that clinicians should pay more attention to cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and provide useful information for their clinical management.
All age groups Risk group Risk factor COVID-19