Outcomes of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection in Children and Adolescents With Cancer in Canada: Population-based Study and Systematic Review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Published outcomes for children with cancer with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have varied. Outcome data for pediatric oncology patients in Canada, outside of Quebec, have not been reported. This retrospective study captured patient, disease, and COVID-19-related infectious episode characteristics and outcome data for children, 0 to 18 years, diagnosed with a first COVID-19 infection between January 2020 to December 2021 at 12 Canadian pediatric oncology centers. A systematic review of pediatric oncology COVID-19 cases in high-income countries was also undertaken. Eighty-six children were eligible for study inclusion. Thirty-six (41.9%) were hospitalized within 4 weeks of COVID-19; only 10 (11.6%) had hospitalization attributed to the virus, with 8 being for febrile neutropenia. Two patients required intensive care unit admission within 30 days of COVID-19 infection, neither for COVID-19 management. There were no deaths attributed to the virus. Of those scheduled to receive cancer-directed therapy, within 2 weeks of COVID-19, 20 (29.4%) experienced treatment delays. Sixteen studies were included in the systematic review with highly variable outcomes identified. Our findings compared favorably with other high-income country's pediatric oncology studies. No serious outcomes, intensive care unit admissions, or deaths, in our cohort, were directly attributable to COVID-19. These findings support the minimization of chemotherapy interruption after COVID-19 infection.


  • Mark, Catherine
  • Gibson, Paul
  • Lafay-Cousin, Lucie
  • Martin, Georgina
  • Oberoi, Sapna
  • Pecheux, Lucie
  • Rassekh, Shahrad R
  • Zorzi, Alexandra
  • Alexander, Sarah
  • Gupta, Sumit

publication date

  • August 2023