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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

St. Elizabeth Healthcare contributes to Nationwide Covid-19 and Cancer Consortium Study

Dr. Daniel Flora. 

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The St. Elizabeth Healthcare Clinical Research Institute, an early contributor to the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), is honored to collaborate in the groundbreaking CCC19 study focusing on outcomes for COVID-19 patients with cancer. The updated study was accepted and published on March 18, 2021, in the prestigious Annals of Oncology.

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“St. Elizabeth was one of the first community oncology programs involved in the CCC19 project,” says Daniel Flora, MD, Medical Oncologist and Medical Director of Clinical Research at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Through our participation in CCC19, we gained a better understanding of how cancer patients are at a much higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 and counsel our patients accordingly.” 

The CCC19 includes 125 cancer centers and organizations that collect and analyze data on cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Founding institutions include Vanderbilt University, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as well as community hospitals across the country like St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

“To be able to say that St. Elizabeth was instrumental in the advancement of understanding COVID-19 in cancer patients illustrates the ongoing commitment that St. Elizabeth has to the community,” says Barbara Logan, Clinical Research Director at St. Elizabeth. “St. Elizabeth is invested in providing research opportunities that will better the lives of those affected by cancer.”  

CCC19 Study Findings: COVID-19 and Cancer Patients 

The CCC19 authors reviewed detailed data from almost 5,000 COVID-19-positive patients with past or active cancer. The CCC19 study authors determined that clinical factors like hematological malignancy, recent chemotherapy and older age all contributed to poor clinical outcomes. 

Additionally, the study found that 58% of COVID-19 patients with cancer required hospitalization, and 14% died within 30 days. This percentage is significantly higher than the 2% death rate for the general population. 

Other key findings include higher COVID-19 severity in:

Black populations
Hispanic populations
Men
Obese individuals
Older patients
Patients with medical comorbidities

The study also utilized the increased sample size to quantify COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on cancer patients that are Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC). These key findings shed light on several critical healthcare issues right now, including systemic racism and unequal access to healthcare. The study has the opportunity to create new insights and changes in healthcare moving forward. 
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“To be a part of an ongoing collaborative team that works to better understand the implications of COVID-19 on cancer patients has been a gratifying experience,” says Ms. Logan. “St. Elizabeth continues to make important contributions to this endeavor. We’re committed to making a difference not only in Northern Kentucky but worldwide.”

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