Coronavirus disease 2019 in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms: Preliminary results of the INTENSIVE study

Nicola Fazio, Lorenzo Gervaso, Thorvadur R. Halfdanarson, Anna La Salvia, Johannes Hofland, Jorge Hernando, Mohamad B. Sonbol, Rocio Garcia-Carbonero, Jaume Capdevila, Wouter W. de Herder, Anna Koumarianou, Gregory Kaltsas, Maura Rossi, Simona Grozinsky-Glasberg, Kira Oleinikov, Sabrina Boselli, Darina Tamayo, Vincenzo Bagnardi, Alice Laffi, Manila RubinoFrancesca Spada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Specific data regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are lacking. The aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of patients with NENs who tested severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positive. Material and methods: This is a worldwide study collecting cases of patients with NENs along with a positive nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2 between June 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Centres treating patients with NENs were directly contacted by the principal investigator. Patients with NENs of any primary site, grade and stage were included, excluding small-cell lung carcinoma and mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma. Results: Among 81 centres directly contacted, 88.8% responded and 48.6% of them declined due to lack of cases or interest. On March 31st, 2021, eight recruiting centres enrolled 89 patients. The median age was 64 years at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Most patients had metastatic, non-functioning, low-/intermediate-grade gastroenteropancreatic NENs on treatment with somatostatin analogues and radioligand therapy. Most of them had comorbidities. Only 8% of patients had high-grade NENs and 12% were receiving chemotherapy. Most patients had symptoms or signs of COVID-19, mainly fever and cough. Only 3 patients underwent sub-intensive treatment, whereas most of them received medical therapies, mostly antibiotics. In two third of cases, no changes occurred for the anti-NEN therapy. More than 80% of patients completely recovered without sequelae, whereas 7.8% patients died due to COVID-19. Conclusions: Patients included in this study reflect the typical NEN population regardless of SARS-CoV-2. In most cases, they overcome COVID-19 without need of intensive care, short-term sequelae and discontinuation of systemic oncological therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Neuroendocrine neoplasms
  • Neuroendocrine tumours
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Coronavirus disease 2019 in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms: Preliminary results of the INTENSIVE study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this