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Impact of COVID-19 in Cancer

2020 will be remembered in history as the year of the pandemic. Thousands of people have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (>500,000 infected) and many deaths (>25,000) resulting from COVID-19, particularly older people with chronic diseases (including cardiovascular and diabetes) and cancer. COVID-19 highlighted the weakness of health systems in several locations, including those with strong welfare systems (e.g. Europe and USA). The speed of the transmission and the high frequency of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring subintensive and intensive care units (ICU) demonstrated the inadequacy of their preparedness to deal with acute epidemic diseases. The fast track solution was to re-introduce the battle-field war strategies: the triage to decide those to be treated, based on age (in some Italian hospital the older people admitted were 55-year old) or on health (in USA disabilities are considered as selection criteria).

At the same time we had few very encouraging positive findings:

  1. The capacity to establish in 10 days hospitals and shelters for the care of thousands of patients, even at intensive and sub-intensive level
  2. The potential to develop preventive vaccines in few months, the General Scientist Dr Chen Wei, produced the vaccine and tested it on her arm on March 5th
  3. The discovery of the efficacy of anti-IL6-IL6R axis to solve ARDS and to drastically reduce or even prevent ICU stay.

This series welcomes articles on all COVID-19-related topics, in particular:

  • Molecular characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 to characterize the genetic evolution of the virus and to identify variants for pathogenicity purposes as well as immune preventive strategies;
  • Immunology, molecular and systems biology studies aimed to early diagnosis and innovative treatment of SARS-CoV-2-related disease in order to mitigate their huge death burden;
  • Preclinical and clinical studies to identify effective molecules (innovative molecules or repurposing drugs) for treatment of COVID-19 severe ARDS.


Dr Maria Lina Tornesello, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Naples, Italy

Franco M Buonaguro, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Naples, Italy

  1. Our aim was to assess the trend in gynaecologic cancer (GC) mortality in the period from 2010 to 2022 in the United States, with focus on the impact of the pandemic on increased deaths.

    Authors: Yuyan Xi, Yuxin Guo, Sikai Qiu, Fan Lv, Yujiao Deng, Jingyi Xie, Zixuan Xing, Yajing Bo, Chenyu Chang, Fan Zhang, Fanpu Ji and Mu Li
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2024 19:4
  2. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is strongly recommended, particularly for fragile patients such as those undergoing active oncological treatments. It is crucial to conduct post-marketing surveillance in this patient po...

    Authors: Liliana Montella, Carmela Dell’Aversana, Daniela Pacella, Simona Troise, Paola Russo, Valentina Cacciapuoti, Alessandro Ottaiano, Luigi Di Marino, Paola Coppola, Carmela Liguori, Massimiliano Berretta, Salvatore Maddaluno, Lucia Altucci and Gaetano Facchini
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:62
  3. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine has played a major role in ending the pandemic. However, little is known about the influence of COVID-19 vaccine on the efficacy of immunotherapy in patients with no...

    Authors: Yunfei Qian, Zhuxian Zhu, Yin-Yuan Mo and Ziqiang Zhang
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:50
  4. Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), as a worldwide serious issue has been shown to lead to progression and poor outcomes in cancer patients. The underlying mechanisms for SARS-CoV-2 infection’s adverse effect...

    Authors: Maryam Bakhtiyari, Ayda Haji Aghasi, Sara Banihashemi, Arian Abbassioun, Chanour Tavakol and Hamidreza Zalpoor
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:20
  5. Patients with cancer are at high risk for severe courses of COVID-19. Based on (pre-)clinical data suggesting a potential protective effect due to the immunomodulating properties of azithromycin, we have initi...

    Authors: Maximilian J. Mair, Agnieszka Maj-Hes, Alina Nussbaumer-Pröll, Rainer Puhr, Agnieszka Christenheit, Marlene Troch, Hannah C. Puhr, Angelika M. Starzer, Ariane Steindl, Sabine Eberl, Helmuth Haslacher, Thomas Perkmann, Christoph Minichsdorfer, Gerald W. Prager, Wolfgang W. Lamm, Anna S. Berghoff…
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:9
  6. Historically, COVID-19 emerges as one of the most devastating diseases of humankind, which creates an unmanageable health crisis worldwide. Until now, this disease costs millions of lives and continues to para...

    Authors: Carl Gunnar Gottschalk, Daniel Peterson, Jan Armstrong, Konstance Knox and Avik Roy
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:7

    The Correction to this article has been published in Infectious Agents and Cancer 2023 18:23

  7. Patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) are more likely to develop severe course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and experience increased risk of mortality compared to S...

    Authors: Saad Alhumaid, Abbas Al Mutair, Jawad S. Busubaih, Nourah Al Dossary, Murtadha Alsuliman, Sarah A. Baltyour, Ibrahim Alissa, Hassan I. Al Hassar, Noor A. Al Aithan, Hani A. Albassri, Suliman A. AlOmran, Raed M. ALGhazal, Ahmed Busbaih, Nasser A. Alsalem, Waseem Alagnam, Mohammed Y. Alyousef…
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2022 17:49
  8. Both SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines [BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna)] have shown high efficacy, with very modest side effects in limiting transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and in preventing the sev...

    Authors: Maria Antonietta Isgrò, Giusy Trillò, Luigi Russo, Anna Lucia Tornesello, Luigi Buonaguro, Maria Lina Tornesello, Leonardo Miscio, Nicola Normanno, Attilio Antonio Montano Bianchi, Franco Maria Buonaguro and Ernesta Cavalcanti
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2022 17:40
  9. COVID-19 infection is a serious threat to patients with primary diseases, especially multiple cancers. Studies suggest that cancer patients are one of the most susceptible populations to experience severe COVI...

    Authors: Hamidreza Zalpoor, Abdullatif Akbari, Negar Nayerain Jazi, Mahsa Liaghat and Maryam Bakhtiyari
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2022 17:38
  10. Patients with non-hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) represent a population of special interest during the current Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemics. NHLs are associated with disease- and treatment-related immu...

    Authors: Gianpaolo Marcacci, Giuseppe Fiorentino, Francesco Volzone, Umberto Falcone, Roberto Parrella, Daniela Donnarumma, Silvia D’Ovidio, Anna Annunziata, Giovanni Micallo, Giuseppe Portella, Annarosaria De Chiara, Rosaria De Filippi, Stefania Crisci and Antonio Pinto
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2021 16:38
  11. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have spread to millions of people globally, requiring the development of b...

    Authors: Ernesta Cavalcanti, Maria Antonietta Isgrò, Domenica Rea, Lucia Di Capua, Giusy Trillò, Luigi Russo, Gerardo Botti, Leonardo Miscio, Franco Maria Buonaguro and Attilio Antonio Montano Bianchi
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2021 16:32
  12. Due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak it is mandatory for health care workers to develop containment strategies. Recently published data showed, that cancer patients might have a higher risk for severe course...

    Authors: Dominic Kaddu-Mulindwa, Lorenz Thurner, Moritz Bewarder, Niels Murawski, Manfred Ahlgrimm, Thorsten Pfuhl, Barbara Gärtner, Sigrun Smola and Stephan Stilgenbauer
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2021 16:17
  13. The medical community has been deeply involved in fighting the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and, as a consequence, the care of non-COVID-19 patients has been impacted. However, the treatment of...

    Authors: Francesco Longo, Eleonora M. C. Trecca, Aurelio D’Ecclesia, Chiara Copelli, Karim Tewfik, Alfonso Manfuso, Nicola Pederneschi, Annalisa Mastromatteo, Matteo Aldo Russo, Antonio Pansini, Luca M. Lacerenza, Pier Gerardo Marano and Lazzaro Cassano
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2021 16:9
  14. COVID-19 has caused great concern for patients with underlying medical conditions. We aimed to determine the prognosis of patients with current or previous cancer with either a PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection...

    Authors: Majid Sorouri, Amir Kasaeian, Helia Mojtabavi, Amir Reza Radmard, Shadi Kolahdoozan, Amir Anushiravani, Bardia Khosravi, Seyed Mohammad Pourabbas, Masoud Eslahi, Azin Sirusbakht, Marjan Khodabakhshi, Fatemeh Motamedi, Fatemeh Azizi, Reza Ghanbari, Zeynab Rajabi, Ali Reza Sima…
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2020 15:74
  15. COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in China and Western Europe, where it finally lost the momentum, is now devastating North and South America. It has not been identified the reason and the molecular mec...

    Authors: Franco M. Buonaguro, Gerardo Botti, Paolo Antonio Ascierto, Sandro Pignata, Franco Ionna, Paolo Delrio, Antonella Petrillo, Ernesta Cavalcanti, Maurizio Di Bonito, Sisto Perdonà, Michelino De Laurentiis, Francesco Fiore, Raffaele Palaia, Francesco Izzo, Stefania D’Auria, Virginia Rossi…
    Citation: Infectious Agents and Cancer 2020 15:69