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1.
Melanoma Res ; 31(5): 490-493, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371755

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination has been rapidly implemented among patients with cancer. We present the case of a patient with high-risk resected cutaneous melanoma, who was a candidate for adjuvant treatment, with postsurgery 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/computed tomography (CT) scan showing positive axillary lymph nodes after COVID-19 vaccination. This report presents a 50-year-old man with a history of stage IIA cutaneous melanoma. During follow-up, the patient experienced subcutaneous and lymph-node disease progression, documented with 18FDG PET/CT scan. The patient underwent laparoscopic left para-aortic lymphadenectomy and excision of subcutaneous lesion. Histologic examination showed presence of melanoma metastases in 2 lymph nodes out of total 17 excised and neoplastic emboli to the subcutaneous tissue. In view of starting adjuvant nivolumab, the patient underwent CT scan restaging, with evidence of suspect centimetric periaortic and paracaval lymph nodes, which were deemed worthy of 18FDG PET investigation. The 18FDG PET/CT was negative for abdominal hypercaptation, but showed left axillary pathologic lymph nodes. The medical history of the patient revealed that he had received intramuscular Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in the left deltoid, one week before 18FDG PET examination. Since the patient's clinical examination was negative and suspecting postvaccination false-positive adenopathy, bilateral axillary ultrasound was performed, excluding the presence of pathologic lymph nodes. The patient has started adjuvant treatment with nivolumab, which is currently ongoing. This case demonstrates unexpected findings in response to COVID-19 vaccination in a patient with melanoma. In this specific case, the detection of 18FDG PET hypercaptation could significantly change the patient's management. With growing evidence about the pattern and occurrence of adenopathies after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, recommendations for scheduling and interpretation of 18FDG PET/CT scans among cancer patients will be implemented, in order to reduce equivocal findings and improve outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Lymph Nodes/pathology , Melanoma/pathology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Disease Progression , Humans , Lymph Nodes/diagnostic imaging , Lymphatic Metastasis , Male , Melanoma/diagnostic imaging , Middle Aged
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264544

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has represented an overwhelming challenge for worldwide health systems. Patients with cancer are considered at higher risk for severe COVID-19 and increased mortality in case of infection. Although data on the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination in patients with cancer are limited, there is enough evidence supporting anti-infective vaccination in general in patients with active cancer, or with history of previous malignancy. Subjects with classic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) represent a small subset of cancer patients, which should be considered at heightened risk for infections due to several factors including age, and impaired immune function status. Several cases of human herpesviruses reactivation among critically ill COVID-19 patients have been described. Moreover, in case of severe infection and treatment with immunomodulating agents, patients with CKS are exposed at significant risk of viral reactivation and disease progression. Considering the baseline clinical risk factors of patients with CKS, and the complex interplay of the two viral agents, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination should be strongly recommended among patients with KS. KS represents an interesting field to study the interactions among chronic viral infections, SARS-CoV-2 and the host's immune system. Prospective observational studies are needed to provide more insights on vaccine activity and safety among patients with cancer, optimal vaccine schedules, potential interactions with antineoplastic therapies, and other comorbidities including chronic viral infections.

3.
Viruses ; 13(3)2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167757

ABSTRACT

Over the last months, as oncology specialists, we have frequently been contacted for estimating prognosis for cancer patients affected by COVID-19 infection. Until now, there have been no clear markers to guide decision making regarding the appropriateness of invasive ventilation in cancer patients affected by COVID-19 infection. We developed a practical tool encompassing a prognostic score, "The Milano Policlinico ONCOVID-ICU score." The score is composed of three groups of variables: patient's characteristics such as sex, age, BMI, and comorbidities; oncological variables (treatment intent, life expectancy, on or off-treatment status); and clinical parameters in association with laboratory values (the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score and D-dimer). The SOFA score includes six different clinical parameters and during the first few days of ICU admissions has an important prognostic role. The oncological history should never represent, per se, a contraindication to intensive care and must be considered together with other variables, such as laboratory values, clinical parameters, and patient characteristics, in order to make the hardest but best possible choice. To our knowledge, "The Milano Policlinico ONCOVID-ICU score" is the first prognostic score proposed in this setting of patients and requires further validation. This tool may be useful to assess the prognosis of cancer patients in critical conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Noninvasive Ventilation , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis
4.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(6)2021 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136460

ABSTRACT

Cancer patients may be at high risk of infection and poor outcomes related to SARS-CoV-2. Analyzing their prognosis, examining the effects of baseline characteristics and systemic anti-cancer active therapy (SACT) are critical to their management through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The AIOM-L CORONA was a multicenter, observational, ambispective, cohort study, with the intended participation of 26 centers in the Lombardy region (Italy). A total of 231 cases were included between March and September 2020. The median age was 68 years; 151 patients (62.2%) were receiving SACT, mostly chemotherapy. During a median follow-up of 138 days (range 12-218), 93 events occurred. Age ≥60 years, metastatic dissemination, dyspnea, desaturation, and interstitial pneumonia were all independent mortality predictors. Overall SACT had a neutral effect (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.83, 95%Confidence Interval [95%CI] 0.32-2.15); however, metastatic patients receiving SACT were less likely to die as compared to untreated counterparts, after adjusting for other confounding variables (OR 0.23, 95%CI 0.11-0.51, p < 0.001). Among cancer patients infected by SARS-CoV-2, those with metastases were most at risk of death, especially in the absence of SACT. During the ongoing pandemic, these vulnerable patients should avoid exposure to SARS-CoV-2, while treatment adjustments and prioritizing vaccination are being considered according to international recommendations.

5.
Eur J Cancer ; 148: 112-116, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101194

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been an overwhelming challenge for worldwide health systems. Since the beginning of year 2020, COVID-19 has represented a potential harm for cancer patients and has often hindered oncology care. The Collegio Italiano dei Primari Oncologi Medici (CIPOMO) is an Italian association of head physicians in oncology departments, which promotes working and research activities in oncology on a national basis. During the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the CIPOMO promoted a national survey aiming to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on oncologists' clinical activity and what changes have been made compared with the Italian situation during the first wave of the pandemic. Overall, 138 heads of medical oncology departments participated in this survey: 75 (54%) from the North, 24 (17%) from the Centre and 39 (28%) from the South of Italy and islands. This survey provides an overview of Italian oncologists facing the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The lesson learned during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic has led to a better organisation of clinical activities, and regular testing among healthcare practitioners, with better chances to grant patients' protection. However, the lack of standardised informatic platforms results in serious challenges in replacing frontal visits, often making a concrete reduction of patients' hospital accesses unfeasible. Oncologists need to keep preserving the continuum of care of patients. Standardisation of safety measures, together with the implementation of informatic platforms, can significantly improve oncology pathways during this second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Continuity of Patient Care , Neoplasms/therapy , Oncologists , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Telemedicine , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy , Mass Screening , Oncology Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
Cancer ; 127(7): 1091-1101, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978125

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with cancer are considered at high risk for the novel respiratory illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). General measures to keep COVID-19-free cancer divisions have been adopted worldwide. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of triage to identify COVID-19 among patients with cancer. METHODS: From March 20 to April 17, 2020, data were collected from patients who were treated or followed at the authors' institution in a prospective clinical trial. The primary endpoint was to estimate the cumulative incidence of COVID-19-positive patients who were identified using a triage process through the aid of medical and patient questionnaires. Based on a diagnostic algorithm, patients with suspect symptoms underwent an infectious disease specialist's evaluation and a COVID-19 swab. Serologic tests were proposed for patients who had symptoms or altered laboratory tests that did not fall into the diagnostic algorithm but were suspicious for COVID-19. RESULTS: Overall, 562 patients were enrolled. Six patients (1%) were diagnosed with COVID-19, of whom 4 (67%) had the disease detected through telehealth triage, and 2 patients (33%) without suspect symptoms at triage had the disease detected later. Seventy-one patients (13%) had suspect symptoms and/or altered laboratory tests that were not included in the diagnostic algorithm and, of these, 47 patients (73%) underwent testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibody: 6 (13%) were positive for IgG (n = 5) or for both IgM and IgG (n = 1), and antibody tests were negative in the remaining 41 patients. CONCLUSIONS: The triage process had a positive effect on the detection of COVID-19 in patients with cancer. Telehealth triage was helpful in detecting suspect patients and to keep a COVID-19-free cancer center. The overall incidence of COVID-19 diagnosis (1%) and antibody positivity (13%) in patients with suspect symptoms was similar to that observed in the general population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Triage/methods
7.
Ther Adv Med Oncol ; 12: 1758835920968463, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913990

ABSTRACT

Background: This prospective, multicentre, observational INVIDIa-2 study is investigating the clinical efficacy of influenza vaccination in advanced-cancer patients receiving immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), enrolled in 82 Italian centres, from October 2019 to January 2020. The primary endpoint was the incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) until 30 April 2020. All the ILI episodes, laboratory tests, complications, hospitalizations and pneumonitis were recorded. Therefore, the study prospectively recorded all the COVID-19 ILI events. Patients and methods: Patients were included in this non-prespecified COVID-19 analysis, if alive on 31 January 2020, when the Italian government declared the national emergency. The prevalence of confirmed COVID-19 cases was detected as ILI episode with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2. Cases with clinical-radiological diagnosis of COVID-19 (COVID-like ILIs), were also reported. Results: Out of 1257 enrolled patients, 955 matched the inclusion criteria for this unplanned analysis. From 31 January to 30 April 2020, 66 patients had ILI: 9 of 955 cases were confirmed COVID-19 ILIs, with prevalence of 0.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3-2.4], a hospitalization rate of 100% and a mortality rate of 77.8%. Including 5 COVID-like ILIs, the overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.5% (95% CI: 0.5-3.1), with 100% hospitalization and 64% mortality. The presence of elderly, males and comorbidities was significantly higher among patients vaccinated against influenza versus unvaccinated (p = 0.009, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001). Overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.2% for vaccinated (six of 482 cases, all confirmed) and 1.7% for unvaccinated (8 of 473, 3 confirmed COVID-19 and 5 COVID-like), p = 0.52. The difference remained non-significant, considering confirmed COVID-19 only (p = 0.33). Conclusion: COVID-19 has a meaningful clinical impact on the cancer-patient population receiving ICIs, with high prevalence, hospitalization and an alarming mortality rate among symptomatic cases. Influenza vaccination does not protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

9.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(9)2020 Aug 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-736673

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably caused those involved in cancer care to change clinical practice in order to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining cancer treatment as a priority. General advice during the pandemic suggests that most patients continue with ongoing therapies or planned surgeries, while follow-up visits may instead be delayed until the resolution of the outbreak. We conducted a literature search using PubMed to identify articles published in English language that reported on care recommendations for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic from its inception up to 1st June 2020, using the terms "(cancer or tumor) AND (COVID 19)". Articles were selected for relevance and split into five categories: (1) personal recommendations of single or multiple authors, (2) recommendations of single authoritative centers, (3) recommendations of panels of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, (4) recommendations of multicenter cooperative groups, (5) official guidelines or recommendations of health authorities. Of the 97 included studies, 10 were personal recommendations of single or multiple independent authors, 16 were practice recommendations of single authoritative cancer centers, 35 were recommendations provided by panel of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, 19 were cooperative group position papers, and finally, 17 were official guidelines statements. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency, and has rapidly modified our clinical practice. Delaying unnecessary treatment, minimizing toxicity, and identifying care priorities for surgery, radiotherapy, and systemic therapies must be viewed as basic priorities in the COVID-19 era.

10.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol ; 153: 103059, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-642053

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus respiratory illness (COVID-19) is a public health emergency of global concern. Patients with cancer are at high risk of infections, due to an overall immunocompromised status. However, this connection is not straightforward for coronavirus (CoV) infection, in which the host immune response is the main driver of tissue damage. We performed a thorough review of data on CoV pathogenesis and morbidity rate in cancer patients, through the analysis of the previous CoV pandemics. Considering the interaction between CoV and the host immune system, cancer patients receiving immunotherapy might be more at risk for an aberrant immune response in case of infection, and might therefore deserve additional precautions. The limited available data do not allow us to provide practical indications for the management of cancer patients in this critical situation. Efforts should be made to prospectively collect data, to identify effective interventions to guide treatment decision.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Immune System , Male , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Eur J Cancer ; 135: 47-50, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599965

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus (CoV) pandemic is a serious threat for patients with cancer, who have an immunocompromised status and are considered at high risk of infections. Data on the novel CoV respiratory disease (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) in patients with cancer are still limited. Unlike other common viruses, CoVs have not been shown to cause a more severe disease in immunocompromised subjects. Along with direct viral pathogenicity, in some individuals, CoV infection triggers an uncontrolled aberrant inflammatory response, leading to lung tissue damage. In patients with cancer treated with immunotherapy (e.g. immune checkpoint inhibitors), COVID-19 may therefore represent a serious threat. After a thorough review of the literature on CoV pathogenesis and cancer, we selected several shared features to define which patients can be considered at higher risk of COVID-19. We combined these clinical and laboratory variables, with the aim of developing a score to weight the risk of COVID-19 in patients with cancer.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunotherapy/adverse effects , Neoplasms/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Age Factors , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
12.
Lancet Oncol ; 21(7): 914-922, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early reports on patients with cancer and COVID-19 have suggested a high mortality rate compared with the general population. Patients with thoracic malignancies are thought to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 given their older age, smoking habits, and pre-existing cardiopulmonary comorbidities, in addition to cancer treatments. We aimed to study the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on patients with thoracic malignancies. METHODS: The Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) registry is a multicentre observational study composed of a cross-sectional component and a longitudinal cohort component. Eligibility criteria were the presence of any thoracic cancer (non-small-cell lung cancer [NSCLC], small-cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic epithelial tumours, and other pulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms) and a COVID-19 diagnosis, either laboratory confirmed with RT-PCR, suspected with symptoms and contacts, or radiologically suspected cases with lung imaging features consistent with COVID-19 pneumonia and symptoms. Patients of any age, sex, histology, or stage were considered eligible, including those in active treatment and clinical follow-up. Clinical data were extracted from medical records of consecutive patients from Jan 1, 2020, and will be collected until the end of pandemic declared by WHO. Data on demographics, oncological history and comorbidities, COVID-19 diagnosis, and course of illness and clinical outcomes were collected. Associations between demographic or clinical characteristics and outcomes were measured with odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs using univariable and multivariable logistic regression, with sex, age, smoking status, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease included in multivariable analysis. This is a preliminary analysis of the first 200 patients. The registry continues to accept new sites and patient data. FINDINGS: Between March 26 and April 12, 2020, 200 patients with COVID-19 and thoracic cancers from eight countries were identified and included in the TERAVOLT registry; median age was 68·0 years (61·8-75·0) and the majority had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1 (142 [72%] of 196 patients), were current or former smokers (159 [81%] of 196), had non-small-cell lung cancer (151 [76%] of 200), and were on therapy at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis (147 [74%] of 199), with 112 (57%) of 197 on first-line treatment. 152 (76%) patients were hospitalised and 66 (33%) died. 13 (10%) of 134 patients who met criteria for ICU admission were admitted to ICU; the remaining 121 were hospitalised, but were not admitted to ICU. Univariable analyses revealed that being older than 65 years (OR 1·88, 95% 1·00-3·62), being a current or former smoker (4·24, 1·70-12·95), receiving treatment with chemotherapy alone (2·54, 1·09-6·11), and the presence of any comorbidities (2·65, 1·09-7·46) were associated with increased risk of death. However, in multivariable analysis, only smoking history (OR 3·18, 95% CI 1·11-9·06) was associated with increased risk of death. INTERPRETATION: With an ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, our data suggest high mortality and low admission to intensive care in patients with thoracic cancer. Whether mortality could be reduced with treatment in intensive care remains to be determined. With improved cancer therapeutic options, access to intensive care should be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting based on cancer specific mortality and patients' preference. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Registries/statistics & numerical data , Thoracic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Thoracic Neoplasms/mortality , Thoracic Neoplasms/pathology , Thoracic Neoplasms/therapy
13.
Eur J Cancer ; 132: 17-23, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-99154

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 pandemic is a global health problem, which started to affect China by the end of 2019. In Europe, Italy has faced this novel disease entity (named novel coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) first and severely. COVID-19 represents a significant hurdle for public health services and a potential harm for patients with cancer. The Collegio Italiano dei Primari Oncologi Medici (CIPOMO) is an Italian association of head physicians in oncology departments, which promotes working and research activities in oncology on a national basis. In the midst of the epidemic in Italy, the CIPOMO promoted a national survey aiming to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on clinical activity of oncologists and the implementation of containment measures of COVID-19 diffusion. Overall, 122 head physicians participated in this survey, with a homogeneous distribution on the national territory. Results show that the following measures for oncologic patients have been promptly implemented through the whole country: use of protective devices, triage of patients accessing the hospital, delay of non-urgent visits and use of telemedicine. Results of this survey suggest that Italian oncology departments have promptly set a proactive approach to the actual emergency. Oncologists need to preserve the continuum of care of patients, as the benefit of ensuring a well-delivered anti-cancer treatment plan outweighs the risk of COVID-19 infection. International cooperation is an important starting point, as heavily affected nations can serve as an example to find out ways to safely preserve health activity during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Neoplasms , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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