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1.
Ther Adv Urol ; 13: 17562872211054302, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488375

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Considering the growing genitourinary (GU) cancer population undergoing systemic treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we planned a clinical audit in 24 Italian institutions treating GU malignancies. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was investigating the clinical impact of COVID-19 in GU cancer patients undergoing ICI-based therapy during the first outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 contagion in Italy. DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The included centers were 24 Oncology Departments. Two online forms were completed by the responsible Oncology Consultants, respectively, for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) patients receiving at least one administration of ICIs between 31 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. RESULTS AND LIMITATION: In total, 287 mRCC patients and 130 mUC patients were included. The COVID-19 incidence was, respectively, 3.5%, with mortality 1%, in mRCC patients and 7.7%, with mortality 3.1%, in mUC patients. In both groups, 40% of patients developing COVID-19 permanently discontinued anticancer treatment. The pre-test SARS-CoV-2 probability in the subgroup of patients who underwent nasal/pharyngeal swab ranged from 14% in mRCC to 26% in mUC. The main limitation of the work was its nature of audit: data were not recorded at the single-patient level. CONCLUSION: GU cancer patients undergoing active treatment with ICIs have meaningful risk factors for developing severe events from COVID-19 and permanent discontinuation of therapy after the infection. Treatment delays due to organizational issues during the pandemic were unlikely to affect the treatment outcome in this population.

2.
World J Radiol ; 13(9): 294-306, 2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pneumonia is the main manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Chest computed tomography is recommended for the initial evaluation of the disease; this technique can also be helpful to monitor the disease progression and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy. AIM: To review the currently available literature regarding the radiological follow-up of COVID-19-related lung alterations using the computed tomography scan, to describe the evidence about the dynamic evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia and verify the potential usefulness of the radiological follow-up. METHODS: We used pertinent keywords on PubMed to select relevant studies; the articles we considered were published until October 30, 2020. Through this selection, 69 studies were identified, and 16 were finally included in the review. RESULTS: Summarizing the included works' findings, we identified well-defined stages in the short follow-up time frame. A radiographic deterioration reaching a peak roughly within the first 2 wk; after the peak, an absorption process and repairing signs are observed. At later radiological follow-up, with the limitation of little evidence available, the lesions usually did not recover completely. CONCLUSION: Following computed tomography scan evolution over time could help physicians better understand the clinical impact of COVID-19 pneumonia and manage the possible sequelae; a longer follow-up is advisable to verify the complete resolution or the presence of long-term damage.

3.
World J Radiol ; 13(8): 243-257, 2021 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441320

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the several radiological features shared by coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia and other infective or non-infective diseases with lung involvement, the differential diagnosis is often tricky, and no unequivocal tool exists to help the radiologist in the proper diagnosis. Computed tomography is considered the gold standard in detecting pulmonary illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. AIM: To conduct a systematic review including the available studies evaluating computed tomography similarities and discrepancies between coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia and other pulmonary illness, then providing a discussion focus on cancer patients. METHODS: Using pertinent keywords, we performed a systematic review using PubMed to select relevant studies published until October 30, 2020. RESULTS: Of the identified 133 studies, 18 were eligible and included in this review. CONCLUSION: Ground-glass opacity and consolidations are the most common computed tomography lesions in coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. Only two studies included cancer patients, and the differential diagnosis with early lung cancer and radiation pneumonitis was performed. A single lesion associated with pleural effusion and lymphadenopathies in lung cancer and the onset of the lesions in the radiation field in the case of radiation pneumonitis allowed the differential diagnosis. Nevertheless, the studies were heterogeneous, and the type and prevalence of lesions, distributions, morphology, evolution, and additional signs, together with epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory findings, are crucial to help in the differential diagnosis.

4.
Clin Med Insights Oncol ; 15: 11795549211043427, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405284

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an acute respiratory syndrome caused by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread worldwide, significantly affecting the outcome of a highly vulnerable group such as cancer patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical impact of COVID-19 infection on outcome and oncologic treatment of cancer patients. PATIENT AND METHODS: We retrospectively enrolled cancer patients with laboratory and/or radiologic confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, admitted to our center from February to April 2020. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the clinical data and univariate analyses were performed to investigate the impact of anticancer treatment modifications due to COVID-19 outbreak on the short-term overall survival (OS). RESULTS: Among 61 patients enrolled, 49 (80%) were undergoing anticancer treatment and 41 (67%) had metastatic disease. Most patients were men; median age was 68 years. Median OS was 46.6 days (40% of deaths occurred within 20 days from COVID-19 diagnosis). Among 59 patients with available data on therapeutic course, 46 experienced consequences on their anticancer treatment schedule. Interruption or a starting failure of the oncologic therapy correlated with significant shorter OS. Anticancer treatment delays did not negatively affect the OS. Lymphocytopenia development after COVID was significantly associated with worst outcome. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 diagnosis in cancer patients may affect their short-term OS, especially in case of interruption/starting failure of cancer therapy. Maintaining/delaying cancer therapy seems not to influence the outcome in selected patients with recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

5.
Future Oncol ; 17(9): 1097-1104, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067596

ABSTRACT

We presented the rationale for the use of thymosin α1 as prophylaxis of severe COVID-19 in cancer patients undergoing active treatment, constituting the background for the PROTHYMOS study, a prospective, multicenter, open-label, Phase II randomized study, currently in its start-up phase (Eudract no. 2020-006020-13). We aim to offer new hope for this incurable disease, especially to frail patient population, such as patients with cancer. The hypothesis of an effective prophylactic approach to COVID-19 would have immediate clinical relevance, especially given the lack of curative approaches. Moreover, in the 'COVID-19 vaccine race era' both clinical and biological results coming from the PROTHYMOS trials could even support the rationale for future combinatorial approaches, trying to rise vaccine efficacy in frail individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Neoplasms/complications , Thymalfasin/therapeutic use , Adjuvants, Immunologic/therapeutic use , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Ther Adv Med Oncol ; 12: 1758835920968463, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913990

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This prospective, multicentre, observational INVIDIa-2 study is investigating the clinical efficacy of influenza vaccination in advanced-cancer patients receiving immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), enrolled in 82 Italian centres, from October 2019 to January 2020. The primary endpoint was the incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) until 30 April 2020. All the ILI episodes, laboratory tests, complications, hospitalizations and pneumonitis were recorded. Therefore, the study prospectively recorded all the COVID-19 ILI events. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were included in this non-prespecified COVID-19 analysis, if alive on 31 January 2020, when the Italian government declared the national emergency. The prevalence of confirmed COVID-19 cases was detected as ILI episode with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2. Cases with clinical-radiological diagnosis of COVID-19 (COVID-like ILIs), were also reported. RESULTS: Out of 1257 enrolled patients, 955 matched the inclusion criteria for this unplanned analysis. From 31 January to 30 April 2020, 66 patients had ILI: 9 of 955 cases were confirmed COVID-19 ILIs, with prevalence of 0.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3-2.4], a hospitalization rate of 100% and a mortality rate of 77.8%. Including 5 COVID-like ILIs, the overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.5% (95% CI: 0.5-3.1), with 100% hospitalization and 64% mortality. The presence of elderly, males and comorbidities was significantly higher among patients vaccinated against influenza versus unvaccinated (p = 0.009, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001). Overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.2% for vaccinated (six of 482 cases, all confirmed) and 1.7% for unvaccinated (8 of 473, 3 confirmed COVID-19 and 5 COVID-like), p = 0.52. The difference remained non-significant, considering confirmed COVID-19 only (p = 0.33). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has a meaningful clinical impact on the cancer-patient population receiving ICIs, with high prevalence, hospitalization and an alarming mortality rate among symptomatic cases. Influenza vaccination does not protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

8.
Immunotherapy ; 12(15): 1139-1148, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-771605

ABSTRACT

Aim: Evaluating the incidence and course of COVID-19 in cancer patients treated with immunotherapy. Patients & methods: We reported the influenza-like illness events with diagnosis of COVID-19 within the patient cohort enrolled in the prospective observational multicenter INVIDIa-2 study in the single center of Parma. Results: Among 53 patients, eight experienced influenza-like illness during the influenza season 2019/2020, and three of them had diagnosis of COVID-19. They were males, elderly, with cardiovascular disease. Radiological features of COVID-19 pneumonitis were found in all of three cases, although the pharyngeal swab resulted positive in only two. Two of these three patients died due to respiratory failure. Conclusion: Cancer patients are at high risk of severe events from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
9.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(8)2020 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721488

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, severity, and fatality rates. The reason older patients and males show increased risk of severe disease and death remains uncertain. Sex hormones, such as estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, might be implicated in the age-dependent and sex-specific severity of COVID-19. High testosterone levels could upregulate transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), facilitating the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into host cells via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Data from patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen-deprivation therapy seem to confirm this hypothesis. Clinical studies on TMPRSS2 inhibitors, such as camostat, nafamostat, and bromhexine, are ongoing. Antiandrogens, such as bicalutamide and enzalutamide, are also under investigation. Conversely, other studies suggest that the immune modulating properties of androgens could protect from the unfavorable cytokine storm, and that low testosterone levels might be associated with a worse prognosis in patients with COVID-19. Some evidence also supports the notion that estrogens and progesterone might exert a protective effect on females, through direct antiviral activity or immune-mediated mechanisms, thus explaining the higher COVID-19 severity in post-menopausal women. In this perspective, we discuss the available evidence on sex hormones and hormone therapy in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, and we highlight the possible implications for cancer patients, who can receive hormonal therapies during their treatment plans.

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