Patients with glioma do not have an increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis or worse outcomes from COVID-19, according to research presented in a poster at the Society for Neuro-Oncology 27th Annual Meeting.1

The incidence of COVID-19 in this single-center study of glioma patients was lower than the incidence of COVID-19 in the general population, according to researchers. 

In addition, the incidence of COVID-19 hospitalization in this study was lower than the incidence observed in an analysis of patients from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium Registry.

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However, more than 80% of patients in the current study had their cancer treatment delayed due to COVID-19. Although none of the patients died from COVID-19-related complications, about 17% died from other causes.

This study included adults with glioma and COVID-19 seen in the department of neurology at Stanford Medicine between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022. The researchers also identified patients without a COVID-19 diagnosis to quantify the total number of patients seen in the clinic during that timeframe.

There were 29 cases of COVID-19 in 28 glioma patients. This translates to an incidence of 6.4% among the clinic’s glioma patients. The researchers noted that, at the time of their analysis, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated a 26.8% incidence of COVID-19 in the general population.

The COVID-19 patients in the current study had astrocytoma (62.1%), oligodendroglioma (24.1%), mesiotemporal angiocentric glioma (6.9%), ependymoma (3.4%), or subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (3.4%). Most patients had grade 4 (41.4%) or grade 2 (34.5%) glioma.

The average age of patients at COVID-19 diagnosis was 48.0 years (range, 23-73), and 51.7% of patients were men. The Karnofsky Performance Scale score was 80-100 in 51.7% of patients and 50-70 in 31.0% of patients. The most common comorbidities were obesity (27.6%), prior tobacco use (20.7%), and diabetes (13.8%). 

Nearly half of patients (48.3%) were not vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 prior to infection, 3.4% of patients had received 1 vaccine dose, 10.3% of patients had received 2 doses, and 37.9% had received 3 or more doses. Vaccinated patients received the Pfizer-BioNTech (34.5%), Moderna (24.1%), or Johnson & Johnson (3.4%) COVID-19 vaccines.

Most patients (72.4%) were not on dexamethasone at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Two patients were receiving temozolomide, 2 were receiving bevacizumab, 2 were on a clinical trial, 1 underwent resection, and 1 was receiving radiotherapy.

In all, 17.2% of patients required hospital admission for management of COVID-19 symptoms. This included patients who did not receive COVID-19-specific treatment (10.3%) and those who did receive COVID-19-specific treatment (6.9%). 

The researchers noted that an analysis of patients in the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium Registry showed a hospitalization rate of 55%.2 

In the current study, cancer treatment was delayed due to COVID-19 in 82.8% of patients.1 None of the patients died from COVID-19-related complications. However, 5 patients (17.2%) died from other causes.

“These findings suggest that glioma patients (at least in our institution) are not at increased risk of contracting or experiencing worse outcomes from COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosures: The study authors did not provide disclosures.


1. Lanman T, Ruiz A, Nagpal S. A single-institution retrospective series of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adult glioma patients. Presented at SNO 2022; November 16-20, 2022. Abstract NCOG-27.

2. Shah, DP, Shah P, Warner JL, et al. An update on the overall epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and outcomes from the COVID 19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19). J Clin Oncol. 2022; 40(16):10565-10565. doi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.1056

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor