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Adv Radiat Oncol ; : 100929, 2022 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797319


Purpose: Managing pediatric patients requiring daily general anesthesia (GA) for radiation therapy (RT) in the setting of COVID-19 is complex, due to the aerosolizing nature of GA procedures, the risk of cardiopulmonary complications for infected patients, and the treatment of immunocompromised oncology patients in a busy, densely populated radiation oncology clinic. Methods and Materials: We developed an institutional protocol to define procedures for COVID testing and protection of patients, caregivers, and staff, hypothesizing that this protocol would allow patients requiring GA to be safely treated, minimizing COVID transmission risk to both patients and staff, at the same time maintaining pre-COVID patient volumes. All patients underwent COVID testing prior to their first treatment and thrice weekly during treatment. For COVID+ patients, RT was delivered in the last end-of-day treatment appointment. A negative pressure room was used for GA induction and recovery, and separate physician/nurse teams were designated for in-room vs. out-of-room patient management. Results: Seventy-eight pediatric patients received RT under GA, vs. 69 over the same prior year timeframe, and 2 patients received 2 courses of RT under GA, for a total of 80 courses. The mean age was 4.9 y (range 0.5-19.0 y) and 41/78 (52.6%) were male. Two patients (2.6%) received two courses of radiotherapy under GA, establishing a total of 80 courses. The mean number of treatment fractions was 22.2 (range 1-40). Two of 78 patients (2.6%) tested positive for COVID-19; both were asymptomatic. Both patients completed treatment as prescribed. Neither patient developed cardiopulmonary symptoms complicating anesthesia, and neither patient experienced grade 3+ acute radiation toxicity. Conclusions: With careful multidisciplinary planning to mitigate COVID-19 risk, pediatric RT with GA was carried out for a large patient volume without widespread infection, and without increased toxicities from either GA or RT.

JCO Oncol Pract ; 17(12): e1879-e1886, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270943


PURPOSE: Multiple studies have demonstrated the negative impact of cancer care delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, and transmission mitigation techniques are imperative for continued cancer care delivery. We aimed to gauge the effectiveness of these measures at the University of Pennsylvania. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal study of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity and seroconversion in patients presenting to infusion centers for cancer-directed therapy between May 21, 2020, and October 8, 2020. Participants completed questionnaires and had up to five serial blood collections. RESULTS: Of 124 enrolled patients, only two (1.6%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on initial blood draw, and no initially seronegative patients developed newly detectable antibodies on subsequent blood draw(s), corresponding to a seroconversion rate of 0% (95% CI, 0.0 TO 4.1%) over 14.8 person-years of follow up, with a median of 13 health care visits per patient. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that patients with cancer receiving in-person care at a facility with aggressive mitigation efforts have an extremely low likelihood of COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
JNCI Cancer Spectr ; 5(1): Pkaa120, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069274


Cancer patients are a vulnerable population postulated to be at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in cancer patients may be attributable to age, comorbidities, smoking, health care exposure, and cancer treatments, and partially to the cancer itself. Most studies to date have focused on hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, thereby limiting the generalizability and interpretability of the association between cancer and COVID-19 severity. We compared outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 323 patients enrolled in a population-based study before the pandemic (n = 67 cancer patients; n = 256 noncancer patients). After adjusting for demographics, smoking status, and comorbidities, a diagnosis of cancer was independently associated with higher odds of hospitalization (odds ratio = 2.16, 95% confidence interval = 1.12 to 4.18) and 30-day mortality (odds ratio = 5.67, 95% confidence interval = 1.49 to 21.59). These associations were primarily driven by patients with active cancer. These results emphasize the critical importance of preventing SARS-CoV-2 exposure and mitigating infection in cancer patients.

COVID-19/complications , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/complications , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/therapy , Odds Ratio , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate