According to the CDC, one factor that makes a person more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 is the presence of an underlying medical condition. Because of weakened immune systems, cancer patients are among those at high risk of serious complications from a coronavirus infection. Mesothelioma, to be specific, is an extremely aggressive form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure and with limited survival despite systemic therapy. Fighting mesothelioma depletes a patient’s energy and nutrients, and this worsens a patient’s body’s ability to fight COVID-19. Mesothelioma treatments can also weaken a person’s immune system and increase the risk of COVID-19 complications. Further, COVID-19 is much more deadly in those individuals over the age of 65, and most mesothelioma patients are seniors. Most mesothelioma patients are seniors because, from the first asbestos exposure, it can take decades for an individual to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. If, for example, an individual gets exposed to asbestos for the first time at the age of 20, they might end up being diagnosed with mesothelioma even at the age of 70.
Recent studies have found that for every five patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) one contracted COVID-19. According to one particular study presented at the IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer, approximately one in five patients with MPM at a Barcelona hospital contracted the coronavirus during the pandemic. To study the effect of COVID-19 infection on individuals with MPM, Dr. Susana Cedres of Vall d’ Hebron University Hospital and the Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain, analyzed medical records of 38 patients with MPM. Dr. Susana gathered clinical data such as comorbidities, oncological background, demographics, and COVID-19 illness status. Upon completion of the study, Dr. Cedres found that;
- Of the 38 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma at the institution in this pandemic era, seven (18%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection by a positive RT.PCR and