Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been dedicated to understanding which individuals are most at risk for severe disease. They’ve found that those who are immunocompromised and have certain cancers are individuals who fall into this category. They also know that those with hematologic disorders are at a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19.
Researchers from two cancer research institutes in Canada have recently studied data from a database of patients with light chain amyloidosis (AL) as well as immunoglobulin deposition disease (IDD) in order to understand how the pandemic has affected their care, disease management, and risk of severe coronavirus infection.
This study was published in the European Journal of Haematology.
This study involved gathering data from patients diagnosed with one of these conditions from the period of 2013 to 2020. These data were retrieved from the Plasma Cell Disorders Database. 15 of the individuals had localized amyloidosis and 74 had systemic disease. 7 of the patients in the study had IDD. Across all diagnoses, the median age was around 66. 96 patients in total were included in this study. Of these, 22 with amyloidosis as well as 4 with IDD underwent treatment during the time of the pandemic.
Through this investigation, the team found that many things have been affected for these patient populations during the pandemic. These include disease management and access to care.
The research team emphasized that care during the pandemic has to be individualized. Patients have different biological and clinical characteristics, access to care, and different levels of exposure depending on their geography.
The team found that amyloidosis patients had a higher chance of having lambda restrictions. IDD patients overall had higher bone marrow plasma and serum creatinine levels. Further, about half of the IDD patients had symptomatic multiple myeloma.
Patients who had achieved at least a “very good” partial response had their treatment discontinued. 28 of all of the patients had a COVID-19 test and all had a negative outcome. 3 of the patients in the study passed away during the time of the study, none from COVID-19.
What researchers are concerned about is delayed diagnosis for new patients during the pandemic, delayed treatment for current patients, and a lack of care regarding the physical and emotional burdens of COVID-19.
You can read more about this study and future steps here.