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Curr Oncol ; 28(6): 5332-5345, 2021 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572387


Virtual cancer care (i.e., teleoncology) was rapidly adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of patients with cancer. However, there is a paucity of guidance for clinicians regarding virtual cancer care. We sought to develop consensus-based statements to guide the optimal provision of virtual care for clinicians caring for patients with cancer, using a modified Delphi consensus process with a 29-member panel consisting of an interprofessional group of clinicians caring for patients with cancer and patient representatives. The consensus process consisted of two rounds and one synchronous final consensus meeting. At the end of the modified Delphi process, 62 of 62 statements achieved consensus. Fifty-seven statements reached consensus in the first round of the process. Concerns regarding the ability to convey difficult news virtually and maintaining similar standards as in-person care without disproportionate strain on clinicians and patients were addressed in the consensus process. We achieved interprofessional consensus on virtual cancer care practices. Further research examining the impact of virtual cancer care on person-centred and clinical outcomes are needed to inform practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Curr Oncol ; 28(2): 1153-1160, 2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167436


In a prospective study, we sought to determine acceptability of linkage of administrative and clinical trial data among Canadian patients and Research Ethics Boards (REBs). The goal is to develop a more harmonized approach to data, with potential to improve clinical trial conduct through enhanced data quality collected at reduced cost and inconvenience for patients. On completion of the original LY.12 randomized clinical trial in lymphoma (NCT00078949), participants were invited to enrol in the Long-term Innovative Follow-up Extension (LIFE) component. Those consenting to do so provided comprehensive identifying information to facilitate linkage with their administrative data. We prospectively designed a global assessment of this innovative approach to clinical trial follow-up including rates of REB approval and patient consent. The pre-specified benchmark for patient acceptability was 80%. Of 16 REBs who reviewed the research protocol, 14 (89%) provided approval; two in Quebec declined due to small patient numbers. Of 140 patients invited to participate, 115 (82%, 95% CI 76 to 88%) from across 9 Canadian provinces provided consent and their full name, date of birth, health insurance number and postal code to facilitate linkage with their administrative data for long-term follow-up. Linkage of clinical trial and administrative data is feasible and acceptable. Further collaborative work including many stakeholders is required to develop an optimized secure approach to research. A more coordinated national approach to health data could facilitate more rapid testing and identification of new effective treatments across multiple jurisdictions and diseases from diabetes to COVID-19.

Information Storage and Retrieval/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Registries , Canada , Ethics Committees, Research , Female , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Information Storage and Retrieval/statistics & numerical data , Male , Prospective Studies
Curr Oncol ; 28(1): 278-282, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011431


Patients with cancer are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19. As a result, routine SARS-CoV-2 testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer is recommended prior to treatment. However, there is limited evidence of its clinical usefulness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the value of routine testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer. Asymptomatic patients with cancer attending Odette Cancer Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to and during treatment cycles. Results were compared to positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2 locally and provincially. All 890 asymptomatic patients tested negative. Positivity rates in the province were 1.5%, in hospital were 1.0%, and among OCC's symptomatic cancer patients were 0% over the study period. Given our findings and the low SARS-CoV-2 community positivity rates, we recommend a dynamic testing model of asymptomatic patients that triggers testing during increasing community positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2.

Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neoplasms/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cancer Care Facilities , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Ontario