Nat Cancer 1 (10) 946-964 [2020-10-00; online 2020-10-02]
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, pose considerable challenges for the management of oncology patients. COVID-19 presents as a particularly severe respiratory and systemic infection in aging and immunosuppressed individuals, including patients with cancer. Moreover, severe COVID-19 is linked to an inflammatory burst and lymphopenia, which may aggravate cancer prognosis. Here we discuss why those with cancer are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, describe immune responses that confer protective or adverse reactions to this disease and indicate which antineoplastic therapies may either increase COVID-19 vulnerability or have a dual therapeutic effect on cancer and COVID-19.