COVID 19 therapies and anti-cancer drugs: A systematic review of recent literature

Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Rossella Di Trolio, Zisis Kozlakidis, Giuseppina Busto, Concetta Ingenito, Luciana Buonerba, Claudia Ferrara, Annamaria Libroia, Gianluca Ragone, Concetta Dello Ioio, Beatrice Savastano, Mario Polverino, Ferdinando De Falco, Simona Iaccarino, Emilio Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: It is reasonable to think that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy could have a more aggressive course if positive for Coronavirus disease CoV-2 (COVID- 19).

METHODS: We conducted a literature review on,,,, of all articles published using the keywords COVID-19 therapy or treatment and cancer until May 2, 2020. A total of 205 articles were identified and 53 were included in this review.

RESULTS: We describe the ongoing COVID-19 therapies that should be known by oncologists and highlight the potential interactions with antineoplastic drugs, commonly used in clinical practice. The main drug interactions were found with tocilizumab, ruxolitinib and colchicine.

CONCLUSIONS: The literature provides an inconclusive picture on potential preferred treatments for COVID-19 and their interactions with antineoplastic agents. Future clinical trials are needed to better understand the interactions between different drugs in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102991
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2


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