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1.
Support Care Cancer ; 30(7): 6007-6012, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1782811

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: No-visitor policies adopted to prevent coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) spread in hospital wards have deeply impacted communication with patients and their relatives. Whereas in pre-COVID-19 era family-clinician meetings were held in person, during the pandemic interactions often took place over the phone, frequently causing feelings of uncertainty and distress to the close ones at home. The goal of this study was to assess and improve the effectiveness of structured telephone-based communication with hospitalized onco-hematological patients' relatives in COVID-19 era. METHODS: After no-visitor policy was adopted in the Onco-Hematological Unit of Modena, inpatients' relatives were contacted daily for clinical updates. After discharge, a telephone satisfaction survey was administered to all contact people of patients consecutive admitted between December 2020 and January 2021 (n = 97). Mean score of response and potential statistically significative differences depending on respondents' characteristics were assessed. RESULTS: Most relatives were satisfied with the communication received with a mean total score of 4.69 on a 5-point Likert scale (standard deviation: 0.60). Results showed high satisfaction rate with both the informative (mean ± SD: 4.66 ± 0.64) and emotional (mean ± SD: 4.66 ± 0.58) content, with no significant difference depending on respondents' demographic characteristics (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: A structured telephone-based communication may be a reasonable substitute for face-to-face meetings; especially if regular in time, conducted by the same doctor and integrated with video calls. Our findings might assist health workers in implementing measures to minimize the psychological effects of no-visitor policies during hospitalization. Clinical updates delivery through structured phone calls and video calls could become an opportunity also in post-COVID era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Communication , Humans , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telephone
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(10)2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234733

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, scientific authorities strongly suggested the use of face masks (FMs). FM materials (FMMs) have to satisfy the medical device biocompatibility requirements as indicated in the technical standard EN ISO 10993-1:2018. The biologic evaluation must be confirmed by in vivo tests to verify cytotoxicity, sensitisation, and skin irritation. Some of these tests require an extensive period of time for their execution, which is incompatible with an emergency situation. In this study, we propose to verify the safety of FMMs combining the assessment of 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) with quantification of nitric oxide (NO) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), as predictive markers of skin sensitisation or irritation based on human primary fibroblasts. Two hundred and forty-two FMMs were collected and classified according to spectrometer IR in polypropylene, paper, cotton, polyester, polyethylene terephthalate, 3-dimensional printing, and viscose. Of all FMMs tested, 50.8% passed all the assays, 48% failed at least one, and only 1.2% failed all. By a low cost, rapid and highly sensitive multi assays strategy tested on human skin fibroblasts against a large variety of FMMs, we propose a strategy to promptly evaluate biocompatibility in wearable materials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Textiles
3.
Stem Cells ; 39(6): 707-722, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121521

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has grown to be a global public health crisis with no safe and effective treatments available yet. Recent findings suggest that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus pathogen that causes COVID-19, could elicit a cytokine storm that drives edema, dysfunction of the airway exchange, and acute respiratory distress syndrome in the lung, followed by acute cardiac injury and thromboembolic events leading to multiorgan failure and death. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), owing to their powerful immunomodulatory abilities, have the potential to attenuate the cytokine storm and have therefore been proposed as a potential therapeutic approach for which several clinical trials are underway. Given that intravenous infusion of MSCs results in a significant trapping in the lung, MSC therapy could directly mitigate inflammation, protect alveolar epithelial cells, and reverse lung dysfunction by normalizing the pulmonary microenvironment and preventing pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, we present an overview and perspectives of the SARS-CoV-2 induced inflammatory dysfunction and the potential of MSC immunomodulation for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 related pulmonary disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Humans , Immunomodulation , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , Pandemics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/immunology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(1)2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024625

ABSTRACT

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the main type of liver cancer. In the majority of cases, HCC is diagnosed at the advanced stage, leading to poor prognosis. In recent years, many efforts have been devoted to investigating potential new and more effective drugs and, indeed, the treatment armamentarium for advanced HCC has broadened tremendously, with targeted- and immune-therapies, and probably the combination of both, playing pivotal roles. Together with new established knowledge, many issues are emerging, with the role of neoadjuvant/adjuvant settings, the definition of the best transitioning time from loco-regional treatments to systemic therapy, the identification of potential predictive biomarkers, and radiomics being just some of the topics that will have to be further explored in the next future. Clearly, the current COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the management of HCC patients and some considerations about this topic will be elucidated.

5.
Stem Cells Dev ; 30(3): 119-127, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975188

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted urgent need for potential therapies for severe respiratory consequences resulting from coronavirus infection. New therapeutic agents that will attenuate ongoing inflammation and at the same time promote regeneration of injured lung epithelial cells are urgently needed. Cell-based therapies, primarily involving mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and their derivatives, are currently investigated worldwide for SARS-CoV-2-induced lung diseases. A significant number of academic centers and companies globally have already initiated such trials. However, at a time of unprecedented need, it is also foreseen that families and caregivers will seek all available options, including access to cell-based and other investigational products, even before proven safety and efficacy as well as regulatory approval. This should not be an excuse for opportunists to sell or advertise unproven therapies of any kind. "Compassionate use" should be conducted in the context of a clinical investigation framed by strict ethical and regulatory permissions, with the goal of obtaining mechanistic information wherever possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , Humans , Lung/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
6.
Eur J Cancer ; 133: 29-32, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-829484

ABSTRACT

At the end of January 2020, a novel betacoronavirus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, progressively spread in Italy. Patients with cancer are considered more prone to infections because of the immunosuppressive status due to both malignancy and anticancer treatments. From the first Italian government restrictions (23rd February), Modena Cancer Center adopted practical health vigilance recommendations to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus without overlooking cancer management. From 23rd February to 31st March 2020, 1257 patients on active anticancer treatment for oncological or haematological malignancies attended our institution. All the staff activities were rescheduled following our practical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) guideline. During this period, we have tallied 9 cases of COVID-19 infection (0.71%) in patients with cancer and 3 cases (1.66%) in health workers. The mortality rate of our patients with cancer was 22%, consistent with the data reported in the literature. In conclusion, following our practical health vigilance recommendations, physicians should be confident in maintaining life-saving anticancer treatment without exceedingly increasing the risk of nosocomial COVID-19 infection. The high rate of mortality suggested that all patients on active anticancer treatment with flu-like symptoms have to be carefully screened for COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Infection/mortality , Cross Infection/transmission , Cross Infection/virology , Female , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Male , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/mortality , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Prognosis , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Cytotherapy ; 22(9): 482-485, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-747687

ABSTRACT

STATEMENT: The International Society for Cellular and Gene Therapies (ISCT) and the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) recognize the potential of extracellular vesicles (EVs, including exosomes) from mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and possibly other cell sources as treatments for COVID-19. Research and trials in this area are encouraged. However, ISEV and ISCT do not currently endorse the use of EVs or exosomes for any purpose in COVID-19, including but not limited to reducing cytokine storm, exerting regenerative effects or delivering drugs, pending the generation of appropriate manufacturing and quality control provisions, pre-clinical safety and efficacy data, rational clinical trial design and proper regulatory oversight.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Vesicles , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Exosomes/transplantation , Extracellular Vesicles/transplantation , Humans , Societies, Scientific
8.
J Control Release ; 325: 135-140, 2020 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626153

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 epidemic represents an unprecedented global health emergency, further aggravated by the lack of effective therapies. For this reason, several clinical trials are testing different off-label drugs, already approved for other pathologies. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have been tested during the last two decades for the treatment of various pathologic conditions, including acute and chronic lung diseases, both in animal models and in patients. In particular, promising results have been obtained in the experimental therapy of acute respiratory distress syndrome, which represents the most threatening complication of COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, more recently, great interest has been devoted to the possible clinical applications of extracellular vesicles secreted by MSCs, nanoparticles that convey much of the biological effects and of the therapeutic efficacy of their cells of origin. This review summarizes the experimental evidence underlying the possible use of MSCs and of MSC-EVs in severe COVID-19 infection and underlines the need to evaluate the possible efficacy of these therapeutic approaches through controlled studies under the supervision of the Regulatory Authorities.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Extracellular Vesicles , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia/therapy , Animals , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications
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