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Br J Cancer ; 127(7): 1289-1295, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937426


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.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Immunotherapy , London/epidemiology , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics
Future Oncol ; 18(10): 1211-1218, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626702


Objective: The authors monitored positivity rates of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 tests during the second wave of COVID-19 at Guy's Cancer Centre. Methods: Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with asymptomatic COVID-19 positivity rates between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021 (n = 1346). Results: Living 20-40 km and 40-60 km from the alpha variant was associated with a reduced chance of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test compared with 0-20 km (odds ratio [OR]: 0.20; CI: 0.07-0.53 and OR: 0.38; CI: 0.15-0.98, respectively). An increased number of tests was associated with an increased chance of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (OR: 1.10; CI: 1.04-1.16). Conclusion: The COVID-19 positivity rate of asymptomatic cancer patients is partly due to increased testing, with some contribution from the proximity of the patient population to the epicenter of the alpha variant.

The UK's second wave of COVID-19 was partly driven by the emergence of the alpha variant in the southeast of England in November 2020, spreading farther to become the predominant variant across England in December 2020. The alpha variant is associated with a greater transmissibility rate, posing an increased risk to the vulnerable population. This raised concerns about the welfare of cancer patients, as the disease and its treatment can lower one's ability to fight infection. This resulted in some cancer treatments being interrupted or stopped on the grounds of clinical safety and some follow-up care being disrupted. In order to investigate the factors associated with asymptomatic COVID-19 positivity rates between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021, the authors gathered information on the number of tests taken per cancer patient at Guy's and extracted data from Guy's approved research database, which houses all routinely collected clinical data on cancer patients. This included demographic data, such as post code and age, as well as number of visits to the hospital. From their analysis, the authors concluded that living closer to the epicenter of the alpha variant was associated with a high positivity rate; also, the more tests taken, the more likely the patients are to test positive. Therefore, the authors can conclude that attending the hospital does not increase the risk of transmission.

Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged
Cancers (Basel) ; 14(2)2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613623


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess the outcome of cancer patients undergoing systemic anti-cancer treatment (SACT) at our centre to help inform future clinical decision-making around SACT during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Patients receiving at least one episode of SACT for solid tumours at Guy's Cancer Centre between 1 March and 31 May 2020 and the same period in 2019 were included in the study. Data were collected on demographics, tumour type/stage, treatment type (chemotherapy, immunotherapy, biological-targeted) and SARS-CoV2 infection. RESULTS: A total of 2120 patients received SACT in 2020, compared to 2449 in 2019 (13% decrease). From 2019 to 2020, there was an increase in stage IV disease (62% vs. 72%), decrease in chemotherapy (42% vs. 34%), increase in immunotherapy (6% vs. 10%), but similar rates of biologically targeted treatments (37% vs. 38%). There was a significant increase in 1st and 2nd line treatments in 2020 (68% vs. 81%; p < 0.0001) and reduction in 3rd and subsequent lines (26% vs. 15%; p = 0.004) compared to 2019. Of the 2020 cohort, 2% patients developed SARS-CoV2 infections. CONCLUSIONS: These real-world data from a tertiary Cancer Centre suggest that despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SACT was able to be continued without any significant effects on the mortality of solid-tumour patients. There was a low rate (2%) of SARS-CoV-2 infection which is comparable to the 1.4%-point prevalence in our total cancer population.