Survival in multiple myeloma and SARS-COV-2 infection through the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from the epicovideha registry

Musto P., Salmanton-García J., Sgherza N., Bergantim R., Farina F., Glenthøj A., ...More

Hematological Oncology, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/hon.3240
  • Journal Name: Hematological Oncology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: COVID-19, hematological malignancy, multiple myeloma, SARS-CoV-2
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Patients affected by multiple myeloma (MM) have an increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and subsequent coronavirus (20)19 disease (COVID-19)-related death. The changing epidemiological and therapeutic scenarios suggest that there has been an improvement in severity and survival of COVID-19 during the different waves of the pandemic in the general population, but this has not been investigated yet in MM patients. Here we analyzed a large cohort of 1221 patients with MM and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection observed between February 2020, and August 2022, in the EPICOVIDEHA registry from 132 centers around the world. Median follow-up was 52 days for the entire cohort and 83 days for survivors. Three-hundred and three patients died (24%) and COVID-19 was the primary reason for death of around 89% of them. Overall survival (OS) was significantly higher in vaccinated patients with both stable and active MM versus unvaccinated, while only a trend favoring vaccinated patients was observed in subjects with responsive MM. Vaccinated patients with at least 2 doses showed a better OS than those with one or no vaccine dose. Overall, according to pandemic waves, mortality rate decreased over time from 34% to 10%. In multivariable analysis, age, renal failure, active disease, hospital, and intensive care unit admission, were independently associated with a higher number of deaths, while a neutrophil count above 0.5 × 109/L was found to be protective. This data suggests that MM patients remain at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection even in the vaccination era, but their clinical outcome, in terms of OS, has progressively improved throughout the different viral phases of the pandemic.