A Healthier Wisconsin

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) in Cancer

Studying how post-acute sequelae of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 interacts with cancer

Full Project Name:Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) in CancerPrincipal Investigator:Anai Kothari, MD, SurgeryCo-Investigator:Meera Mohan, MD, MS, Medicine; Aniko Szabo, PhD, Institute for Health and EquityAward Amount:$50,000
Award Date
Project Duration:12 months

Project Description Narrative:

Post-acute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (PASC) refers to the constellation of symptoms in survivors of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) infections. Even after recovery from COVID-19, some patients experience symptoms (such as fatigue, shortness of breath, fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, depression, and “brain fog”) lasting several months from the initial infection.

Although the data on PASC in COVID-19 survivors are evolving, it is estimated that approximately 32.6 to 87.4% of patients suffer persistent symptoms following an acute infection. PASC will, therefore, have a substantial impact on public health in the state of Wisconsin. There is a critical need to understand how PASC, an entirely new clinical entity, interacts with other acute and chronic medical conditions, including those that are well-recognized determinants of increased severity related to acute COVID-19, including cancer.

The primary objective of this project is to evaluate the epidemiology, spectrum of recovery, and significance of PASC in patients with cancer. Through the proposed aims, researchers will 1) develop a model to identify PASC patients with cancer; and 2) apply that model to study PASC in a population of patients with cancer in Wisconsin. Understanding the dynamics of cancer care delivery in patients suffering from PASC will help modify cancer treatment strategies, such as the safe and timely restitution of treatment and the application of an integrated approach to alleviating symptoms of PASC, while also improving long-term outcomes in this vulnerable group of patients.

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