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JCO Glob Oncol ; 8: e2100365, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933170


PURPOSE: Delivery of cancer care during the pandemic required adopting various changes in the standard management. We analyzed the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiation oncology treatment practices at Tata Memorial Hospital in India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From March 1 to October 31, 2020, all consecutive patients who attended the radiation oncology department for radiotherapy treatment were included in this study. Electronic medical records, patient files, and telephonic consult were used to collect patient's data including changes in the standard treatment practice, COVID-19 testing and its results, and subsequent impact on radiotherapy treatment. Comparison was done with the same period data of 2019 for the number of the caseload, radiotherapy regimen, referral rates, and noncompliance rates. RESULTS: Our study included 4,256 patients with a median age of 52 years (interquartile range 41-61 years). There was a significant drop in the new-patient registrations (approximately 63%), radiotherapy consultations (44.9%), and referrals to other centers (27.8%). The reduction in the caseload was highest for genitourinary cases (-58.5%) and the lowest for breast cases (-11.5%) when compared with the 2019 cohort. Among those treated with radical intent, the noncompliance rate was 15%. Hypofractionation was the commonly adopted regimen across all sites. Compared with 2019, the maximum reduction in the average fractions per patient was seen in the breast cancer cases (-8.2 fraction), followed by genitourinary cases (-4.9 fraction). Of the 27.8% of patients tested for COVID-19, 13.4% turned positive and 3.4% died due to the disease. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the number of radiotherapy consultations and treatments at our institute. However, our department offered uninterrupted services despite grave challenges. Hypofractionated regimen was used across disease sites to minimize patient visits and allow planned treatment completion. Radiotherapy was delivered safely, and patients experienced low rates of COVID positivity during radiotherapy and even lower mortality.

COVID-19 , Radiation Oncology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Pandemics
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys ; 107(4): 853-854, 2020 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065194
Indian J Cancer ; 57(2): 221-223, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-350026


The practice of radiation oncology requires stringent adherence to specific steps and principles designed to minimize exposure of an individual to unnecessary doses of radiation. The basic principles of such measures to reduce the risk of exposure and limit the doses of irradiation follow the "as low as reasonably achievable " or ALARA principle by using the concepts of time, distance and shielding. Potential exposures in radiation oncology are controlled through combination of optimal design and installation of radiation delivery equipment with well-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs). In the modern era of viral pandemics, similar principles can also be applied toward prevention of viral transmission and protection of populations at risk. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the probability of an individual getting infected is dependent on the viral load that an individual is exposed to in public spaces over a period of time. All prevention and control measures are based on preventing any such exposure to the virus, that can be achieved through limiting space for movement of the virus, using barriers and increasing distance to vulnerable surfaces, and limiting the duration of exposure. Apart from adhering to the laid-down provisions of a lock-down, preventive measures recommended for the general public include maintaining hand-hygiene, social distancing, and using facemasks to break the chain of transmission. Appropriate triage and customization of treatment protocols can help curtail hospital visits and time-spent by cancer patients during pandemic times, thereby reducing their risk of exposure as well as allowing efficient utilization of resources. The outbreak of the contagious COVID-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt healthcare systems globally with its unprecedented challenges. However, despite all the difficulties and hardships, it has also enabled new ways of learning and communication, which are likely to persist even in the post-COVID world.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Radiation Oncology/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Radiation Oncology/standards , Radiation Protection/methods , Radiation Protection/standards , SARS-CoV-2
COVID-19 pandemic brain metastases lung cancer ; 2020(Cancer Reports)
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-740807


Abstract Given the enormous strain the COVID-19 pandemic has put on healthcare worldwide, appropriate allocation of resources according to priority is of immense importance. As brain metastases are a common presentation in lung cancer, during the pandemic, it potentially can pose a major management challenge to clinicians. In this article, we outline a pragmatic approach that oncologists should consider while managing these patients. The overarching principle is to deliver best, evidence-based treatment without compromising patient care while ensuring the safety of healthcare workers.