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Br J Cancer ; 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937426


BACKGROUND: During the COVID pandemic, there was a paucity of data to support clinical decision-making for anticancer treatments. We evaluated the safety of radical treatments which were delivered whilst mitigating the risks of concurrent COVID-19 infection. METHODS: Using descriptive statistics, we report on the characteristics and short-term clinical outcomes of patients undergoing radical cancer treatment during the first COVID-19 wave compared to a similar pre-pandemic period. RESULTS: Compared to 2019, the number of patients undergoing radical treatment in 2020 reduced by: 28% for surgery; 18% for SACT; and 10% for RT. Within SACT, 36% received combination therapy, 35% systemic chemotherapy, 23% targeted treatments, 5% immunotherapy and 2% biological therapy. A similar proportion of RT was delivered in 2019 and 2020 (53% vs. 52%). Oncological outcomes were also similar to pre-COVID-19. The COVID-19 infection rates were low: 12 patients were positive pre surgery (1%), 7 post surgery (<1%), 17 SACT patients (2%) and 3 RT patients (<1%). No COVID-19-related deaths were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst there were fewer patients receiving radical anticancer treatments, those who did receive treatment were treated in a safe environment. Overall, cancer patients should have the confidence to attend hospitals and be reassured of the safety measures implemented.

BJUI Compass ; 3(4): 277-286, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664396


Objective: To report on the outcomes of urological cancer patients undergoing radical surgery between March-September 2020 (compared with 2019) in the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan and the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA). Materials and Methods: Since March 2020, both institutions implemented a COVID-19 minimal 'green' pathway, whereby patients were required to isolate for 14 days prior to admission and report a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 3 days of surgery. COVID-19 positive patients had surgery deferred until a negative swab. Surgical outcomes assessed were: American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) grade; surgery time; theatre time; intensive care unit (ICU) stay >24 h; pneumonia; length of stay (LOS); re-admission. Postoperative COVID-19 infection rates and associated mortality were also recorded. Results: At IEO, uro-oncological surgery increased by 4%, as compared with the same period in 2019 (n = 515 vs. 534). The main increase was observed for renal (16%, n = 98 vs. 114), bladder (24%, n = 45 vs. 56) and testicular (27%, n = 26 vs. 33). Patient demographics were all comparable between 2019 and 2020. Only one bladder cancer patient developed COVID-19, reporting mild/moderate disease. There was no COVID-19 associated mortality. In the SELCA cohort, uro-oncological surgery declined by 23% (n = 403 vs. 312) compared with the previous year. The biggest decrease was seen for prostate (-42%, n = 156 vs. 91), penile (-100%, n = 4 vs. 0) and testicular cancers (-46%, n = 35 vs. 24). Various patient demographic characteristics were notably different when comparing 2020 versus 2019. This likely reflects the clinical decision of deferring COVID-19 vulnerable patients. One patient developed COVID-19, with no COVID-19 related mortality. Conclusion: The COVID-19 minimal 'green' pathways that were put in place have shown to be safe for uro-oncological patients requiring radical surgery. There were limited complications, almost no peri-operative COVID-19 infection and no COVID-19-related mortality in either cohort.

Cancers (Basel) ; 13(7)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167423


The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a large effect on the management of cancer patients. This study reports on the approach and outcomes of cancer patients receiving radical surgery with curative intent between March and September 2020 (in comparison to 2019) in the European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS (IEO) in Milan and the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA). Both institutions implemented a COVID-19 minimal pathway where patients were required to self-isolate prior to admission and were swabbed for COVID-19 within 72 h of surgery. Positive patients had surgery deferred until a negative swab. At IEO, radical surgeries declined by 6% as compared to the same period in 2019 (n = 1477 vs. 1560, respectively). Readmissions were required for 3% (n = 41), and <1% (n = 9) developed COVID-19, of which only one had severe disease and died. At SELCA, radical surgeries declined by 34% (n = 1553 vs. 2336). Readmissions were required for 11% (n = 36), <1% (n = 7) developed COVID-19, and none died from it. Whilst a decline in number of surgeries was observed in both centres, the implemented COVID-19 minimal pathways have shown to be safe for cancer patients requiring radical treatment, with limited complications and almost no COVID-19 infections.