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JCO Oncol Pract ; 16(11): e1304-e1314, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119446


PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the attitudes and practice of Italian oncologists toward breast cancer care and related research activities. METHODS: A 29-question anonymous online survey was sent by e-mail to members of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology and the Italian Breast Cancer Study Group on April 3, 2020. Only medical oncologists (both those in training and specialists) were invited to complete the questionnaire. RESULTS: Out of 165 responding oncologists, 121 (73.3.%) worked in breast units. In the (neo)adjuvant setting, compared with before the emergency, fewer oncologists adopted weekly paclitaxel (68.5% v 93.9%) and a dose-dense schedule for anthracycline-based chemotherapy (43% v 58.8%) during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the metastatic setting, compared with before the emergency, fewer oncologists adopted first-line weekly paclitaxel for HER2-positive disease (41.8% v 53.9%) or CDK4/6 inhibitors for luminal tumors with less-aggressive characteristics (55.8% v 80.0%) during the COVID-19 outbreak. A significant change was also observed in delaying the timing for monitoring therapy with CDK4/6 inhibitors, assessing treatment response with imaging tests, and flushing central venous devices. Clinical research and scientific activities were reduced in 80.3% and 80.1% of respondents previously implicated in these activities, respectively. CONCLUSION: Medical oncologists face many challenges in providing cancer care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Although most of the changes in their attitudes and practice were reasonable responses to the current health care emergency without expected major negative impact on patient outcomes, some potentially alarming signals of undertreatment were observed.

Breast Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Pandemics , Telemedicine/trends , Breast/diagnostic imaging , Breast/pathology , Breast Neoplasms/complications , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/trends , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
Thromb Haemost ; 120(12): 1597-1628, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-759630


COVID-19 is also manifested with hypercoagulability, pulmonary intravascular coagulation, microangiopathy, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) or arterial thrombosis. Predisposing risk factors to severe COVID-19 are male sex, underlying cardiovascular disease, or cardiovascular risk factors including noncontrolled diabetes mellitus or arterial hypertension, obesity, and advanced age. The VAS-European Independent Foundation in Angiology/Vascular Medicine draws attention to patients with vascular disease (VD) and presents an integral strategy for the management of patients with VD or cardiovascular risk factors (VD-CVR) and COVID-19. VAS recommends (1) a COVID-19-oriented primary health care network for patients with VD-CVR for identification of patients with VD-CVR in the community and patients' education for disease symptoms, use of eHealth technology, adherence to the antithrombotic and vascular regulating treatments, and (2) close medical follow-up for efficacious control of VD progression and prompt application of physical and social distancing measures in case of new epidemic waves. For patients with VD-CVR who receive home treatment for COVID-19, VAS recommends assessment for (1) disease worsening risk and prioritized hospitalization of those at high risk and (2) VTE risk assessment and thromboprophylaxis with rivaroxaban, betrixaban, or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for those at high risk. For hospitalized patients with VD-CVR and COVID-19, VAS recommends (1) routine thromboprophylaxis with weight-adjusted intermediate doses of LMWH (unless contraindication); (2) LMWH as the drug of choice over unfractionated heparin or direct oral anticoagulants for the treatment of VTE or hypercoagulability; (3) careful evaluation of the risk for disease worsening and prompt application of targeted antiviral or convalescence treatments; (4) monitoring of D-dimer for optimization of the antithrombotic treatment; and (5) evaluation of the risk of VTE before hospital discharge using the IMPROVE-D-dimer score and prolonged post-discharge thromboprophylaxis with rivaroxaban, betrixaban, or LMWH.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Cardiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Europe , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Inflammation , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Risk Factors , Rivaroxaban/therapeutic use , Societies, Medical , Thrombophilia , Thrombosis , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(8)2020 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721488


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.