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Neuro-Oncology ; 24(Supplement 7):vii127, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2189424


INTRODUCTION: Head and neck exocrine gland tumors metastases to central nervous system (CNS) account for less than 1% with median survival of less than 6 months. Unlike brain metastases from lung, breast, melanoma, and colon, there is no established consensus or published clinical guidelines in the management from excorine glands. Filipino patients are manage individually but experienced delays due to limited access to a tertiary level health care and with scarcity of treatment protocols. Methods and RESULTS: We present two cases with exocrine glands carcinoma with CNS metastases. First case is a 51/F with a known case of left parotid cystic adenocarcinoma s/p parotidectomy and radiation therapy 2 years prior to the development of neurological deficits and COVID-19 infection, neuroimaging noted extra-axial 7.5 x 5 x 4.5 cm contrast enhancing tumor at bilateral frontal convexity. She underwent bifrontal craniotomy, gross total excision of tumor and anterior sagittal sinus, histopathology results cystic adenocarcinoma. She was discharged GOS 2, planned for chemoradiotherapy but lost to follow up and expired after 2 months post op. Second case is a 28/M known case of lacrimal gland pleomorphic adenocarcinoma OD s/p excision biopsy 2 years prior to the development of multiple right frontal lobe, right orbital wall and right pterion metastases. He underwent gross excision of extracranial and intracranial tumors and a right orbital exenteration. He was discharged GOS 2 and underwent chemoradiation as outpatient with good tumor control and no tumor recurrence after 1 year of treatment. DISCUSSION: CNS metastases from exocrine glands are rare and difficult to manage since no approved protocol was established. Patients in low resource setting were then manage on individual basis since molecular and genomic studies are not available. The delays in the management are multifactorial such as geographic disadvantages, COVID-19 pandemic, and government's inadequate support for health system.

Neuro-Oncology ; 24:i166, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956580


INTRODUCTION: Central nervous system (CNS) tumors account for 20 - 30% of all childhood cancers. The Philippines is a lower-middle income country, wherein brain centers are located mostly in urban areas. We aimed to identify challenges that pediatric patients with CNS tumors encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, which aggravated delays in their diagnosis and treatment. METHODS: This is a retrospective review of all pediatric patients who underwent neurosurgery for CNS tumors at the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, a tertiary referral center, from January 2020 until December 2021. We summarized patients' demographic data, clinical course, and perioperative outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 38 pediatric patients underwent neuro-oncologic surgery in our center during the study period. There were 18 males and 20 females, with a mean age of 7.5 ± 4.9 years. Tumor was biopsied and/or resected in 35 cases (92%). The most common histologic diagnoses were medulloblastoma (n=8, 21%) and high-grade glioma/glioblastoma (n=5, 13%). Median preoperative length of stay and total length of stay were 10 (IQR: 17) and 28 (IQR 33.75), respectively. There was a high perioperative mortality rate in 2020 (71%), but this decreased to 20% in 2021. Six patients (16%) developed COVID-19 infection during the perioperative period. There were nine patients (24%) who had documented tumor progression because of delays in adjuvant therapy. DISCUSSION: Aside from geographic barriers and catastrophic health expenditure, the major challenges that disrupted the care of pediatric patients with CNS tumors in our center during the COVID-19 pandemic were delays in neuroimaging for diagnosis, unavailability of operating room slots, deficiency in critical care beds, and workforce shortage due to COVID-19 infection among health workers. Health care systems must adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, so that children with CNS tumors are not neglected.

Neuro-Oncology ; 24:i74-i75, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956572


INTRODUCTION: High-grade gliomas account for <5% of all pediatric brain tumors with a 20% 5-year overall survival even with maximal safe resection followed by concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Patients in low-and middle-income countries already face delays and barriers to the treatment they require. The current COVID pandemic has added unique challenges to the delivery of complex, multidisciplinary health services to these patients. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of four patients, ages 2-18 years old, with histologically confirmed high-grade glioma managed in a tertiary government institution from 2020-2021. Three of the patients had a supratentorial tumor and one patient had multiple tumors located in both supra-and infratentorial compartments. Neurosurgical procedures performed were: gross total excision (1), subtotal excision (2), and biopsy (1). The tissue diagnoses obtained were glioblastoma (3) and high-grade astrocytoma (1). Two patients survived and are currently undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The remaining two patients expired: one from hospital-acquired pneumonia and the other from COVID-19 infection. DISCUSSION: Decreased mobility due to lockdowns, the burden of requiring negative COVID-19 results before admission for surgery, reduced hospital capacity to comply with physical distancing measures, the postponement of elective surgery to minimize COVID-19 transmission, physician and nursing shortages due to infection or mandatory isolation of staff, cancellation of face-to-face outpatient clinics, and hesitation among patients and their families to go to the hospital for fear of exposure were found to be common causes of delays in treatment. Also, the redirection of health resources and other government and hospital policies to handle the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an overall delay in the delivery of health services. In particular, the management of pediatric patients with cancers, especially high-grade gliomas, was significantly disrupted.