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Cancer patients may not be high-risk for coronavirus, researchers say

The researchers found that the assumption that cancer patients should be considered as at-risk for coronavirus was without any scientific basis.

By Daniel Nisinman | JPost
September 17, 2020

Photo Credit: Lung cells infected with coronavirus(photo credit: YAAKOV NAHMIAS)

new study conducted by Israeli researchers from the Rambam Medical Center and Technion in Haifa, suggests that there is no correlation between cancer and an increased risk for coronavirus.

In the early stages of the pandemic, medical experts were extremely concerned about the risk that the coronavirus might pose to cancer patients, speculating that cancer treatments may harm patients’ immune system ability to respond to the “cytokine storm,” triggered by the virus.

However, the assumption that cancer patients should be considered as at-risk for coronavirus was without any scientific basis.

The new research, the first one of its kind, led by Professor Yuval Shaked, head of the Rappaort-Technion Intergrated Center and Professor Irit Ben Aharon, director of the Division of Oncology at Rambam as well as other researchers from the hospital, presented evidence that suggested the scare over cancer patients facing greater risks if exposed to coronavirus lacked a medical basis.

Out of a total number of 164 cancer patients who participated in the study, only 2.4% developed antibodies for the coronavirus but showed no symptoms. Among the healthy participants, which was a group of 107 medical staff employees who served as a control group, only 1.9% developed antibodies and showed no symptoms.

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