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Clin Transl Radiat Oncol ; 34: 1-6, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719578


OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of the impact of the pandemic on the clinical activity and take a snapshot of the contingent challenges that European particle therapy centers are called to face, we surveyed the members of the European Particle Therapy Network (EPTN). MATERIAL AND METHODS: A 52-question survey was conducted from 4th April 2021 to 30th July 2021 using the Google Forms platform. Three dedicated sections analysed the clinical context of each participating institution, the staff management, and the clinical changes in the oncological workflow. RESULTS: Out of the 23 contacted European hubs of particle radiotherapy, a total of 9 (39%) responded to the survey. The number of in-person first evaluations and follow-up visits decreased, but telemedicine was implemented. Multidisciplinary tumour board discussions continued during the outbreak using web-based solutions. A delay in cancer diagnosis and oncological staging leading to an increment in more advanced diseases at first presentation was generally observed. Even if the total number of treatments (photons and particles) in the responding institutions showed a trend of decrease, there was or a stable situation or slight increase in particle treatments. The clinical treatment choices followed the national and international scientific recommendations and were patient/disease-oriented. Hypofractionation and short-schedule of chemotherapy, when applicable, were preferred. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show a rapid and effective reaction of European particle RT hubs to manage the healthcare crisis. Considering the new waves and virus variants, the vaccination campaign will hopefully reduce the oncological impacts and consequences of the prolonged outbreak.

Radiother Oncol ; 148: 194-200, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-258496


As of April 6, 2020, there are over 1,200,000 reported cases and 70,000 deaths worldwide due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and these numbers rise exponentially by the day [1]. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most effective means of minimizing the spread of the virus is through reducing interactions between individuals [2]. We performed a review of the literature, as well as national and international treatment guidelines, seeking data in support of the RADS principle (Remote visits, Avoid radiation, Defer radiation, Shorten radiation) [3] as it applies to gastrointestinal cancers. The purpose of the present work is to guide radiation oncologists managing patients with gastrointestinal cancers during the COVID-19 crisis in order to maintain the safety of our patients, while minimizing the impact of the pandemic on cancer outcomes.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , SARS-CoV-2