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Blood cancer patients with COVID-19 benefit from convalescent plasma

September 30, 2021 | Tom Wilemon

Treatment with convalescent plasma vastly improved the survival rate of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 who also had hematologic malignances that compromise the immune system, according to new data released by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19).

Patients who received convalescent plasma from donors who had recovered from COVID-19 had a death rate of 13.3% compared to 24.8% for those who did not receive it.

The difference was more striking with patients admitted to intensive care units, where patients treated with convalescent plasma had a death rate of 15.8% compared to 46.9% for those who weren’t.

“Despite the inevitable limitations of retrospective data, gathering enough case reports was really only possible through a large and comprehensive registry such as ours. We find these results compelling and certainly hope that they will be quickly investigated in a prospective clinical trial,” said Jeremy Warner, MD, MS, associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The study compared the 30-day mortality of hospitalized adults with both a hematologic malignancy and a COVID-19 diagnosis from 71 medical centers that participate in the international CCC19 consortium. The analysis was conducted on 143 patients who received convalescent plasma and 823 who did not.