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1.
Br J Cancer ; 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937426

ABSTRACT

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.

2.
BJUI Compass ; 3(4): 277-286, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664396

ABSTRACT

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.

3.
J Cancer Policy ; 31: 100316, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561543

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been highly disruptive for cancer care. Here, we examined the effect COVID-19 had on performance of the 62-day Cancer Waiting Time (CWT) target set by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. METHODS: Data were retrospectively obtained on COVID-19 hospitalisations and CWT for NHS hospitals in England (n = 121). We produced a 'COVID-19 burden' to describe the proportion of each provider's beds occupied with COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 burden was examined against CWT performance for 1st April - 30th May 2020 (Wave 1), and 1st October - 30th November 2020 (Wave 2). Two-tailed Spearman correlations were used to identify relationships between COVID-19 burden and CWT performance amongst different referral (i.e., 2-week-wait (2 W W) and internal specialist) and tumour types. Significantly correlated variables were further examined using linear regression models. RESULTS: COVID-19 burden was negatively associated with the percentage of 2 W W pathway referrals that met the CWT target in Wave 1 (r= -0.30, p = 0.001) and Wave 2 (r= -0.21, p = 0.02). These associations were supported by the results from our linear regression models (B for wave 1: -0.71; 95 %CI: -1.03 to -0.40; B for wave 2: -0.38; 95 %CI: -0.68 to -0.07). No associations were found between COVID-19 burden and internal specialist referrals or tumour type. CONCLUSION: Increased COVID-19 burden was associated with lower compliance with CWT targets amongst urgent referrals from primary care in England. This will likely be an ongoing issue due to the backlog of patients awaiting investigations and treatment. POLICY SUMMARY: As the number of cancer referrals improve, we highlight the need for changes to primary and secondary care to manage the backlog within cancer diagnostic services to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , COVID-19/diagnosis , England/epidemiology , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
5.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(7)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167423

ABSTRACT

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.

6.
Ecancermedicalscience ; 15: 1180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110261

ABSTRACT

One of the most ignored aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the impact of public health measures by governments on wider health and welfare. From March 2020, hospitals in the UK saw a dramatic reduction in patients with cancer presenting due to multifactorial reasons. The impact of the pandemic on patients with cancer in the South East London Cancer Alliance was studied. The specific aims were (1) to examine the reduction in cancer diagnoses during the first wave of the pandemic and (2) to examine the stage of diagnosis of patients with cancer presenting during the pandemic compared with that of patients presenting before the pandemic. There was an 18.2% reduction in new cancer diagnoses (an estimate of 987 cancers), when compared with 2019. This fall in cancer diagnoses was most marked in patients with prostate (51.4%), gynaecological (29.7%), breast (29.5%) and lung (23.4%) cancers. There was an overall 3.9% increase in advanced stage presentation (Stages 3 and 4), with an overall 6.8% increase in Stage 4 cancers during this period. The greatest shifts were seen in lung (increase of 6.3%, with an 11.2% increase in Stage 4 cancer alone) and colorectal (5.4%) cancers. For prostate cancer, there was an increase in 3.8% in those presenting with Stage 4 disease. For breast cancer, there was an 8% reduction in patients diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer with commensurate increases in the proportion of those with Stage 2 disease. The experiences in cancer are a salient warning that pandemic control measures and policy need to balance all health and welfare. Alternative strategies need to be adopted during further waves of the current and any future pandemic to ensure that patients with cancer are prioritised for diagnosis and treatment to prevent late-stage presentation and an increase in avoidable deaths.

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