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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther ; 22(5): 549-559, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806096


INTRODUCTION: Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a variable entity, encompassing bulky primary tumors, nodal involvement, or both. Multidisciplinary evaluation is essential to discuss multiple treatment options, to outline optimal management, and to examine the main debated topics and critical issues not addressed by current trials and guidelines that influence daily clinical practice. AREAS COVERED: From March to 5 May 2021 ,meetings were scheduled in a webinar format titled 'Radio Talk' due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the faculty was composed of 6 radiation oncologists from 6 different Institutions of Italy, all of them were the referring radiation oncologist for lung cancer treatment at their respective departments and were or had been members of AIRO (Italian Association of Radiation Oncology) Thoracic Oncology Study Group. The topics covered included: pulmonary toxicity, cardiac toxicity, radiotherapy dose, fractionation and volumes, unfit/elderly patients, multidisciplinary management. EXPERT OPINION: The debate was focused on the unmet needs triggered by case reports, personal experiences and questions; the answers were often not univocal; however, the exchange of opinion and the contribution of different centers confirmed the role of multidisciplinary management and the necessity that the most critical issues should be investigated in clinical trials.

COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung , Lung Neoplasms , Aged , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/pathology , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/radiotherapy , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/pathology , Lung Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Neoplasm Staging , Pandemics , Radiation Oncologists
Tumori ; 108(2): 177-181, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197332


Lombardy has represented the Italian and European epicenter of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although most clinical efforts within hospitals were diverted towards the care of virally infected patients, therapies for patients with cancer, including radiotherapy (RT), have continued. During both the first and second pandemic waves, several national and regional organizations provided Italian and Lombardian RT departments with detailed guidelines aimed at ensuring safe treatments during the pandemic. The spread of infection among patients and personnel was limited by adopting strict measures, including triage procedures, interpersonal distance, and adequate implementation of personal protective equipment (PPE). Screening procedures addressed to both the healthcare workforce and patients, such as periodic nasopharyngeal swabs, have allowed the early identification of asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic COVID-19 cases, thus reducing the spread of the infection. Prevention of infection was deemed of paramount importance to protect both patients and personnel and to ensure the availability of a minimum number of staff members to maintain clinical activity. The choice of treating COVID-19-positive patients has represented a matter of debate, and the risk of oncologic progression has been weighted against the risk of infection of personnel and other patients. Such risk was minimized by creating dedicated paths, reserving time slots, applying intensified cleaning procedures, and supplying personnel and staff with appropriate PPE. Remote working of research staff, medical physicists, and, in some cases, radiation oncologists has prevented overcrowding of shared spaces, reducing infection spread.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Radiation Oncology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
Med Oncol ; 37(11): 108, 2020 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-928648


BACKGROUND: Italy experienced one of the world's severest COVID-19 outbreak, with Lombardy being the most afflicted region. However, the imposed safety measures allowed to flatten the epidemic curve and hence to ease the restrictions and inaugurate, on the 4th of May 2020, the Italian phase (P) 2 of the pandemic. The present survey study, endorsed by CODRAL and AIRO-L, aimed to assess how radiotherapy (RT) departments in Lombardy have dealt with the recovery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire dealing with the management of pandemic was developed online and sent to all CODRAL Directors on the 10th of June 2020. Answers were collected in full anonymity one week after. RESULTS: All the 33 contacted RT facilities (100%) responded to the survey. Despite the scale of the pandemic, during P1 14 (42.4%) centres managed to safely continue the activity (≤ 10% reduction). During P2, 10 (30.3%) centres fully recovered and 14 (42.4%) reported an increase. Nonetheless, 6 (18.2%) declared no changes and, interestingly, 3 (9.1%) reduced activities. Overall, 21 centres (63.6%) reported suspected or positive cases within healthcare workforce since the beginning of the pandemic. Staff units were quarantined in 19 (57.6%) and 6 (18.2%) centres throughout P1 and P2, respectively. In the two phases, about two thirds centres registered positive or suspected cases amongst patients. CONCLUSION: The study revealed a particular attention to anti-contagion measures and a return to normal or even higher clinical workload in most RT centres in Lombardy, necessary to carry out current and previously deferred treatments.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Oncology Service, Hospital/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Personnel/trends , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2