In this study, nearly 5,000 hospitalised cancer patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 were assessed for a link between anticancer medication and the risk of blood clots.

Patients who were treated with anticancer medication 3 months before a diagnosis of COVID-19 had a higher rate of blood clots (thromboembolism) forming in their veins, but not their arteries. Also, of the various anticancer medications that were assessed, immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as nivolumab, ipilimumab or pembrolizumab, was significantly linked with the risk of blood clots in the veins. Patients with progressive cancer and a prior history of blood clots had a higher risk.

This study confirms that patients with cancer have an increased risk of blood clots with COVID-19. Additionally, it highlights that patients who are treated with anticancer medication within 30 days of COVID-19 diagnosis are at an increased risk.

Read more in JAMA Oncology here