Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are at high risk of dying from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The optimal management of AML patients with COVID-19 has not been established. Our multicenter study included 388 adult AML patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 2020 and October 2021. The vast majority were receiving or had received AML treatment in the preceding 3 months. COVID-19 was severe in 41.2% and critical in 21.1% of cases. The chemotherapeutic schedule was modified in 174 patients (44.8%), delayed in 68 and permanently discontinued in 106. After a median follow-up of 325 days, 180 patients (46.4%) had died; death was attributed to COVID-19 (43.3%), AML (26.1%) or to a combination of both (26.7%), whereas in 3.9% of cases the reason was unknown. Active disease, older age, and treatment discontinuation were associated with death, whereas AML treatment delay was protective. Seventy-nine patients had a simultaneous AML and COVID-19 diagnosis, with better survival when AML treatment could be delayed (80%; P<0.001). Overall survival in patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 between January 2020 and August 2020 was significantly lower than that in patients diagnosed between September 2020 and February 2021 and between March 2021 and September 2021 (39.8% vs. 60% vs. 61.9%, respectively; P=0.006). COVID-19 in AML patients was associated with a high mortality rate and modifications of therapeutic algorithms. The best approach to improve survival was to delay AML treatment, whenever possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas