COVID-19 and cancer comorbidity: Therapeutic opportunities and challenges

Anup S. Pathania, Philip Prathipati, Bakrudeen A.A. Abdul, Srinivas Chava, Santharam S. Katta, Subash C. Gupta, Pandu R. Gangula, Manoj K. Pandey, Donald L. Durden, Siddappa N. Byrareddy, Kishore B. Challagundla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral disease caused by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that affects the respiratory system of infected individuals. COVID-19 spreads between humans through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The COVID-19 outbreak originated in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. As of 29 Sept 2020, over 235 countries, areas or territories across the globe reported a total of 33,441,919 confirmed cases, and 1,003,497 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19. Individuals of all ages are at risk for infection, but in most cases disease severity is associated with age and pre-existing diseases that compromise immunity, like cancer. Numerous reports suggest that people with cancer can be at higher risk of severe illness and related deaths from COVID-19. Therefore, managing cancer care under this pandemic is challenging and requires a collaborative multidisciplinary approach for optimal care of cancer patients in hospital settings. In this comprehensive review, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients, their care, and treatment. Further, this review covers the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, genome characterization, COVID-19 pathophysiology, and associated signaling pathways in cancer, and the choice of anticancer agents as repurposed drugs for treating COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-753
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Cancer
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronaviruses
  • Inflammation
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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