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2.
J Med Virol ; 94(6): 2402-2413, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718416

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to provide a more accurate representation of COVID-19's case fatality rate (CFR) by performing meta-analyses by continents and income, and by comparing the result with pooled estimates. We used multiple worldwide data sources on COVID-19 for every country reporting COVID-19 cases. On the basis of data, we performed random and fixed meta-analyses for CFR of COVID-19 by continents and income according to each individual calendar date. CFR was estimated based on the different geographical regions and levels of income using three models: pooled estimates, fixed- and random-model. In Asia, all three types of CFR initially remained approximately between 2.0% and 3.0%. In the case of pooled estimates and the fixed model results, CFR increased to 4.0%, by then gradually decreasing, while in the case of random-model, CFR remained under 2.0%. Similarly, in Europe, initially, the two types of CFR peaked at 9.0% and 10.0%, respectively. The random-model results showed an increase near 5.0%. In high-income countries, pooled estimates and fixed-model showed gradually increasing trends with a final pooled estimates and random-model reached about 8.0% and 4.0%, respectively. In middle-income, the pooled estimates and fixed-model have gradually increased reaching up to 4.5%. in low-income countries, CFRs remained similar between 1.5% and 3.0%. Our study emphasizes that COVID-19 CFR is not a fixed or static value. Rather, it is a dynamic estimate that changes with time, population, socioeconomic factors, and the mitigatory efforts of individual countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Asia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
3.
Clin Pract ; 12(1): 84-90, 2022 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677661

ABSTRACT

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is increasingly indicated for various malignant and non-malignant diseases. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), patients that could benefit from the procedure commonly need to seek medical care abroad in view of the lack of a comprehensive HSCT facility that could offer the full spectrum of interventions and monitoring protocols. This comes with considerable challenges related to coverage and logistics of travel. It also limits the continuity of clinical care, and presents inconvenience to patients who come from a different cultural background. In this article, we share our experiences and lessons learned during the establishment of the first comprehensive adult and pediatric HSCT unit in the UAE that is designed to cater for local citizens and residents, as well as neighboring countries facing similar availability challenges.

4.
Ecancermedicalscience ; 15: 1189, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394745

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents serious challenges to cancer care because of the associated risks from the infection itself and the disruption of care delivery. Therefore, many professional societies have published recommendations to help manage patients with cancer during the current pandemic. The objective of our study is to assess the national responses of Middle East North Africa (MENA) countries in terms of publishing relevant guidelines and analyse various components of these guidelines. METHODS: A survey based on the preliminary review of the literature regarding cancer care adaptations has been developed and then completed by a group of oncologists from the following Arab countries affected by the pandemic: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The survey inquired about COVID-19 cases, national recommendations regarding general measures of COVID-19 prevention and patient care in oncology as well as their implementation about cancer care adaptations during the pandemic. RESULTS: Analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic-related guidelines revealed at least 30 specific recommendations that we categorised into seven essential components. All included countries had national guidelines except one country. Estimated full compliances with all specific category recommendations ranged from 30% to 69% and partial compliance ranged from 23% to 61%. CONCLUSION: There is a very good response and preparedness in the Arab Middle East and North Africa region surveyed. However, there are inconsistencies in the various components of the guidelines across the region, which reflects the evolving status of the pandemic in each country as well as the lack of clear evidence-based guidelines for many of the issues in question. There is a need for a clear framework on essential components that should be included in these guidelines to assure providing the best guidance to the oncology community.

5.
Gulf J Oncolog ; 1(34): 7-12, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022856

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has become a serious hazard worldwide in a relatively short time. Scientific evidence supports that cancer patients infected with COVID-19 had a higher risk of developing severe complications. COVID-19 patients can be asymptomatic during part or all of their disease course, therefore it is a compelling need to develop universal pre-interventional COVID-19 screening guidelines. The aim of this study is to is review COVID-19 positive rate among asymptomatic cancer patients since the implementation of universal policy at our institution, and assess the impact of diagnosing COVID-19 on delay of oncologic interventions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study population comprised of all cancer patients planned for high risk interventions between April 1, 2020 - May 14, 2020 at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi [CCAD] after implementing universal COVID-19 screening policy. DISCUSSION: Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among cancer patients could result in poor outcomes. Universal screening for high-risk populations may facilitate earlier diagnosis of COVID-19 and implementation of control strategies. Our review demonstrated that [7.5%] of asymptomatic cancer patients tested positive for COVID-19 after implementation of universal prospective screening policy. The overall evidence supporting universal COVID-19 screening of cancer patients is limited, yet as tests become more widely available, it may be reasonable to screen all cancer patients for COVID-19 before anticancer therapies. While such policy may delay and affect the timing of anticancer therapy as shown in this report, it should improve the safety of care for oncology patients and help protect healthcare workers. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 infection rate is higher in cancer patients than general population and can present without symptoms. Universal COVID-19 screening of cancer patients before high risk interventions is supported by the present findings.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/methods , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology
8.
BMC Cancer ; 20(1): 641, 2020 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-638535

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Numerous cancer patients from non-Western countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seek cancer care outside their home countries and many are sponsored by their governments for treatment. Many patients interrupted their cancer treatment abruptly and so returned to their home countries with unique challenges. In this review we will discuss practical challenges and recommendations for all cancer patients returning to their home countries from treatment abroad. METHOD: Experts from medical, surgical and other cancer subspecialties in the UAE were invited to form a taskforce to address challenges and propose recommendations for patients returning home from abroad after medical tourism during the SARS-COV-19 Pandemic. RESULTS: The taskforce which consisted of experts from medical oncology, hematology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and palliative care summarized the current challenges and suggested a practical approaches to address these specific challenges to improve the returning cancer patients care. Lack of medical documentation, pathology specimens and radiology images are one of the major limitations on the continuation of the cancer care for returning patients. Difference in approaches and treatment recommendations between the existing treating oncologists abroad and receiving oncologists in the UAE regarding the optimal management which can be addressed by early and empathic communications with patients and by engaging the previous treating oncologists in treatment planning based on the available resources and expertise in the UAE. Interruption of curative radiotherapy (RT) schedules which can potentially increase risk of treatment failure has been a major challenge, RT dose-compensation calculation should be considered in these circumstances. CONCLUSION: The importance of a thorough clinical handover cannot be overstated and regulatory bodies are needed to prevent what can be considered unethical procedure towards returning cancer patients with lack of an effective handover. Clear communication is paramount to gain the trust of returning patients and their families. This pandemic may also serve as an opportunity to encourage patients to receive treatment locally in their home country. Future studies will be needed to address the steps to retain cancer patients in the UAE rather than seeking cancer treatment abroad.


Subject(s)
Continuity of Patient Care/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/standards , Medical Tourism , Neoplasms/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Advisory Committees , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Consensus , Humans , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Arab Emirates
9.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(6): e19691, 2020 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612381

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, patients with cancer in rural settings and distant geographical areas will be affected the most by curfews. Virtual management (telemedicine) has been shown to reduce health costs and improve access to care. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this survey is to understand oncologists' awareness of and views on virtual management, challenges, and preferences, as well as their priorities regarding the prescribing of anticancer treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We created a self-administrated electronic survey about the virtual management of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated its clinical sensibility and pilot tested the instrument. We surveyed practicing oncologists in Gulf and Arab countries using snowball sampling via emails and social media networks. Reminders were sent 1 and 2 weeks later using SurveyMonkey. RESULTS: We received 222 responses from validated oncologists from April 2-22, 2020. An awareness of virtual clinics, virtual multidisciplinary teams, and virtual prescriptions was reported by 182 (82%), 175 (79%), and 166 (75%) respondents, respectively. Reported challenges associated with virtual management were the lack of physical exam (n=134, 60%), patients' awareness and access (n=131, 59%), the lack of physical attendance of patients (n=93, 42%), information technology (IT) support (n=82, 37%), and the safety of virtual management (n=78, 35%). Overall, 111 (50%) and 107 (48%) oncologists did not prefer the virtual prescription of chemotherapy and novel immunotherapy, respectively. However, 188 (85%), 165 (74%), and 127 (57%) oncologists preferred the virtual prescription of hormonal therapy, bone modifying agents, and targeted therapy, respectively. In total, 184 (83%), 183 (83%), and 176 (80%) oncologists preferred to continue neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and perioperative treatments, respectively. Overall, 118 (53%) respondents preferred to continue first-line palliative treatment, in contrast to 68 (30%) and 47 (21%) respondents indicating a preference to interrupt second- and third-line palliative treatment, respectively. For administration of virtual prescriptions, all respondents preferred the oral route and 118 (53%) preferred the subcutaneous route. In contrast, 193 (87%) did not prefer the intravenous route for virtual prescriptions. Overall, 102 (46%) oncologists responded that they would "definitely" prefer to manage patients with cancer virtually. CONCLUSIONS: Oncologists have a high level of awareness of virtual management. Although their survey responses indicated that second- and third-line palliative treatments should be interrupted, they stated that neoadjuvant, adjuvant, perioperative, and first-line palliative treatments should continue. Our results confirm that oncologists' views on the priority of anticancer treatments are consistent with the evolving literature during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges to virtual management should be addressed to improve the care of patients with cancer.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Care Surveys , Neoplasms/therapy , Oncologists , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19 , Female , Health Care Costs , Humans , Internet , Male , Neoplasms/economics , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/economics , Telemedicine/economics
12.
Oncologist ; 25(6): e936-e945, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-31492

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread globally since being identified as a public health emergency of major international concern and has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). In December 2019, an outbreak of atypical pneumonia, known as COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. The newly identified zoonotic coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is characterized by rapid human-to-human transmission. Many cancer patients frequently visit the hospital for treatment and disease surveillance. They may be immunocompromised due to the underlying malignancy or anticancer therapy and are at higher risk of developing infections. Several factors increase the risk of infection, and cancer patients commonly have multiple risk factors. Cancer patients appear to have an estimated twofold increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. With the WHO declaring the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, there is an urgent need to address the impact of such a pandemic on cancer patients. This include changes to resource allocation, clinical care, and the consent process during a pandemic. Currently and due to limited data, there are no international guidelines to address the management of cancer patients in any infectious pandemic. In this review, the potential challenges associated with managing cancer patients during the COVID-19 infection pandemic will be addressed, with suggestions of some practical approaches. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The main management strategies for treating cancer patients during the COVID-19 epidemic include clear communication and education about hand hygiene, infection control measures, high-risk exposure, and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Consideration of risk and benefit for active intervention in the cancer population must be individualized. Postponing elective surgery or adjuvant chemotherapy for cancer patients with low risk of progression should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Minimizing outpatient visits can help to mitigate exposure and possible further transmission. Telemedicine may be used to support patients to minimize number of visits and risk of exposure. More research is needed to better understand SARS-CoV-2 virology and epidemiology.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Care/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hand Hygiene/organization & administration , Hand Hygiene/trends , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infection Control/trends , International Cooperation , Intersectoral Collaboration , Medical Oncology/economics , Medical Oncology/standards , Medical Oncology/trends , Patient Care/economics , Patient Care/trends , Patient Education as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Resource Allocation/economics , Resource Allocation/organization & administration , Resource Allocation/standards , Resource Allocation/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/trends , World Health Organization
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