Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Countermeasures in Korean Patients with Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma

Researchers sought to discern the effect of COVID-19 countermeasures on treatment outcomes in a patient population receiving chemotherapy for lymphoma or multiple myeloma (MM) in Seoul, South Korea. The findings were published in The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.

To conduct this study, researchers retrospectively analyzed data on patients treated for lymphoma or MM in two tertiary hospitals in Seoul. The population of interest were divided into two groups: group one consisted of patients who received chemotherapy between the control period of September to December 2019, and group two included patients who received chemotherapy between the study period, from September to December 2020.

Countermeasures to COVID-19 impacted the patients in group two. The countermeasures included COVID infection mitigation efforts like mask wearing and regular handwashing at home and in hospital. The countermeasures also consisted of COVID risk assessments on all hospital visitors, and pre-emptive COVID screening for all newly hospitalized patients and their resident guardians.

Following analysis, the investigators did not observe any differences between the two groups with respect to treatment outcomes, including treatment response, incidence and duration of neutropenia or neutropenic fever, delays in chemotherapy, or number of deaths during chemotherapy. They noted that none of the patients in group two tested positive for COVID-19, and there were no COVID-19-related deaths during the study period.

“Countermeasures to COVID-19 did not affect treatment outcomes in patients receiving chemotherapy for lymphoma or multiple myeloma. Data on the effect of countermeasures to COVID-19 on treatment outcomes should continue to be analyzed to ensure that treatment outcomes are not adversely affected,” the researchers concluded.