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Exp Ther Med ; 22(5): 1298, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448966


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has spread all over the world over the past year. Comorbidities appear to affect the prognosis of patients with such diseases, but the impact of cancer on the course of SARS-CoV2 has remained largely elusive. The aim of the present study is to analyze the outcome of patients affected by squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and a number of their comorbidities, if infected with SARS-CoV2. The clinical data of 100 patients affected by SCCHN, who were undergoing treatment or who had finished their oncologic treatment in the past 6 months, were retrospectively collected and analysed. For each patient, the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was calculated to provide a score assessing the real weight of comorbidities on the patient's outcome at the time of diagnosis. It was discovered that these patients, besides the SCCHN, frequently presented at diagnosis with several other comorbidities, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiac arrhytmia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and various forms of vasculopathy (and thus a poor CCI). This feature suggest that, given the high frequency of various comorbidities in patients with SCCHN, additional SARS-CoV2 infection could have particularly devastating consequences.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 278(8): 3107-3111, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006423


PURPOSE: A new member of the Coronaviridae family caused a worldwide pandemic emergency called Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Health care workers who come into contact with the upper aero-digestive tract during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as otolaryngologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and head and neck surgeons, may undergo profound changes in their activities and are particularly at risk. We analysed the impact of COVID-19 on our oncological surgical activity. METHODS: To address the emergency and guarantee safety of patients referred to our Unit, reproducible guidelines were followed. Surgical activity data during COVID-19 were compared to previous years (2018 and 2019). RESULTS: From 21st February to 25th of May 113 surgical procedures were performed. The average of the two selected years (2018-2019) is 84.5, showing an increase of 34.5% of our activities (statistically significant, p = 0.0011). No patient showed perioperative or postoperative contagion. CONCLUSION: Due to the conversion of regular Hospitals into COVID Centers, Cancer Centers may encounter an increased demand for procedures. Following strict guidelines, it seems possible to face surgical activity on cancer patients and respect standard procedures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 , Head and Neck Neoplasms , Surgical Oncology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/surgery , Humans , Otolaryngologists , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Infect Agent Cancer ; 15(1): 69, 2020 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965787


COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in China and Western Europe, where it finally lost the momentum, is now devastating North and South America. It has not been identified the reason and the molecular mechanisms of the two different patterns of the pulmonary host responses to the virus from a minimal disease in young subjects to a severe distress syndrome (ARDS) in older subjects, particularly those with previous chronic diseases (including diabetes) and cancer. The Management of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS "Fondazione Pascale" in Naples (INT-Pascale), along with all Health professionals decided not to interrupt the treatment of those hospitalized and to continue, even if after a careful triage in order not to allow SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects to access, to take care of cancer patients with serious conditions. Although very few (n = 3) patients developed a symptomatic COVID-19 and required the transfer to a COVID-19 area of the Institute, no patients died during the hospitalization and completed their oncology treatment. Besides monitoring of the patients, all employees of the Institute (physicians, nurses, researchers, lawyers, accountants, gatekeepers, guardians, janitors) have been tested for a possible exposure. Personnel identified as positive, has been promptly subjected to home quarantine and subdued to health surveillance. One severe case of respiratory distress has been reported in a positive employees and one death of a family member. Further steps to home monitoring of COVID-19 clinical course have been taken with the development of remote Wi-Fi connected digital devices for the detection of early signs of respiratory distress, including heart rate and oxygen saturation.In conclusion cancer care has been performed and continued safely also during COVID-19 pandemic and further remote home strategies are in progress to ensure the appropriate monitoring of cancer patients.