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Annals of Oncology ; 31:S1028, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-806289


Background: On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), this infection may remain asymptomatic. The European Society of Medical Oncology and the Portuguese Health Authority recommended both a symptomatic survey and laboratory testing in all cancer patients (pts) undergoing immunosuppressive treatment (IT). The impact of this measure is still unknown. We report our experience in a Portuguese center. Methods: Since March 2020, a symptomatic survey has been performed at our institution before each hospital visit. From April 6 through May 8, 2020, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 testing was added on cancer pts before undergoing IT. The impact of this intervention was evaluated comparing the hospitalization rate of cancer pts due to COVID-19, before and after the introduction of RT-PCR testing. Retrospective analysis of clinical data was performed. Results: 444 tests were carried out on 244 pts and laboratory SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in 11 (5%);5 were male, with a median age of 65 years [34-76]. Breast and colorectal cancer were prevalent;2 pts had lung cancer;6 advanced disease. Ongoing IT in these pts was temporarily suspended: 9 pts under chemotherapy, 1 atezolizumab and 1 rituximab. Only 1 patient was symptomatic (9%) and previously hospitalized. No admission due to COVID-19 was registered in this group. Since March 7, 179 pts were admitted due to COVID-19 at our center: 12 were active cancer pts (6.7%) of which 4 were under IT. 6 of the oncological pts passed away, all of them had advanced diseases, 1 was under IT. Of the dead pts, lung and breast tumors were prevalent. Among all COVID-19 hospitalizations, the prevalence of pts under IT was similar before and after the implementation of the RT-PCR testing (2.2% vs. 2.4%). Conclusions: We found a significant percentage of active cancer pts diagnosed with asymptomatic COVID-19. Due to the small sample size of COVID-19 pts under IT, it is difficult to evaluate the impact of RT-PCR testing. However, on a long-term analysis, this intervention may reduce the risk of severe complications related to COVID-19 in cancer pts. Health education and dynamic organization are also important measures. Legal entity responsible for the study: The authors. Funding: Has not received any funding. Disclosure: All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.