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Indolent lymphoma care delivery and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada


The treatment pattern and outcomes in patients with indolent B-cell lymphoma treated during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic period compared to the prepandemic period are unclear. This was a retrospective population-based study using administrative databases in Ontario, Canada (follow-up to 31 March 2022). The primary outcome was treatment pattern; secondary outcomes were death, toxicities, healthcare utilization (emergency department [ED] visit, hospitalization) and SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) from Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate associations. We identified 4143 patients (1079 pandemic, 3064 prepandemic), with a median age of 69 years. In both time periods, bendamustine (B) + rituximab (BR) was the most frequently prescribed regimen. During the pandemic, fewer patients received R maintenance or completed the full 2-year course (aHR 0.81, 95% CI 0.71–0.92, p = 0.001). Patients treated during the pandemic had less healthcare utilization (ED visit aHR 0.77, 95% CI 0.68, 0.88, p < 0.0001; hospitalization aHR 0.81, 95% CI 0.70–0.94, p = 0.0067) and complications (infection aHR 0.69, 95% CI 0.57–0.82, p < 0.0001; febrile neutropenia aHR 0.66, 95% CI 0.47–0.94, p = 0.020), with no difference in death. Independent of vaccination, active rituximab use was associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 complications. Despite similar front-line regimen use, healthcare utilization and admissions for infection were less in the pandemic cohort.



Gong IY, Prica A, Ante Z, Calzavara A, Krzyzanowska MK, Singh S, Suleman A, Cheung MC, Crump M. Br J Haematol. 2023; Oct 27 [Epub ahead of print].

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