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PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266791, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785206


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to emergency measures to continue patient care and research at a comprehensive cancer center while protecting both employees and patients. Determining exposure and infection rates with SARS-CoV-2 were important to adjust workplace policies over time. METHODS: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) has over 7,000 employees. Participation was voluntary. After consent, participants completed questionnaire of demographics, exposures and risk factors for COVID-19 illness at each time point (baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months) along with blood draws for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. Primary measure was determination of titers of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG over time. RESULTS: In total, 745 employees enrolled from May 2020 to February 2021 (mean [SD] age, 40[14] years; 572[80%] women). From May to July 2020, 47 of 519 employees (9.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.7-12.0%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG antibodies. Three months later, 40 of 428 employees had positive antibodies (8.5%, 95% CI 6.0-11.0%) with 17 newly positive. At month 6, 78.5% of participants reported having received at least one dose of vaccine and the positivity rate for those vaccinated was 98% (95% CI, 95-100%). Spike protein IgG titers for those vaccinated were 7.9 times higher than participants not vaccinated (median IgG titer = 0.28 for positive antibody but not vaccinated versus 2.2 for vaccinated) but demonstrate evidence of waning over time. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity remained less than 10% at a single comprehensive cancer center prior to vaccination and there is evidence of waning IgG titers over time after vaccination.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Cancer Med ; 11(2): 530-538, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606588


BACKGROUND: An ASCO taskforce comprised of representatives of oncology clinicians, the American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT), LUNGevity, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and the ROS1ders sought to: characterize U.S. oncologists' biomarker ordering and treatment practices for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); ascertain barriers to biomarker testing; and understand the impact of delays on treatment decisions. METHODS: We deployed a survey to 2374 ASCO members, targeting U.S. thoracic and general oncologists. RESULTS: We analyzed 170 eligible responses. For non-squamous NSCLC, 97% of respondents reported ordering tests for EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and BRAF. Testing for MET, RET, and NTRK was reported to be higher among academic versus community providers and higher among thoracic oncologists than generalists. Most respondents considered 1 (46%) or 2 weeks (52%) an acceptable turnaround time, yet 37% usually waited three or more weeks to receive results. Respondents who waited ≥3 weeks were more likely to defer treatment until results were reviewed (63%). Community and generalist respondents who waited ≥3 weeks were more likely to initiate non-targeted treatment while awaiting results. Respondents <5 years out of training were more likely to cite their concerns about waiting for results as a reason for not ordering biomarker testing (42%, vs. 19% with ≥6 years of experience). CONCLUSIONS: Respondents reported high biomarker testing rates in patients with NSCLC. Treatment decisions were impacted by test turnaround time and associated with practice setting and physician specialization and experience.

Biomarkers, Tumor , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/diagnosis , Clinical Decision-Making , Lung Neoplasms/diagnosis , Oncologists , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/therapy , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/therapy , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
J Natl Cancer Inst ; 113(11): 1453-1459, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-787221


Interventions designed to limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are having profound effects on the delivery of health care, but data showing the impact on oncology clinical trial enrollment, treatment, and monitoring are limited. We prospectively tracked relevant data from oncology clinical trials at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020, including the number of open trials, new patient enrollments, in-person and virtual patient visits, dispensed investigational infusions, dispensed or shipped oral investigational agents, research biopsies, and blood samples. We ascertained why patients came off trials and determined on-site clinical research staffing levels. We used 2-sided Wilcoxon rank sum tests to assess the statistical significance of the reported changes. Nearly all patients on interventional treatment trials were maintained, and new enrollments continued at just under one-half the prepandemic rate. The median number of investigational prescriptions shipped to patients increased from 0 to 74 (range = 22-107) per week from March to June 2020. The median number of telemedicine appointments increased from 0 to 107 (range = 33-267) per week from March to June 2020. Research biopsies and blood collections decreased dramatically after Dana-Farber Cancer Institute implemented COVID-19-related policies in March 2020. The number of research nurses and clinical research coordinators on site also decreased after March 2020. Substantial changes were required to safely continue clinical research during the pandemic, yet we observed no increases in serious adverse events or major violations related to drug dosing. Lessons learned from adapting research practices during COVID-19 can inform industry sponsors and governmental agencies to consider altering practices to increase operational efficiency and convenience for patients.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Trials as Topic/organization & administration , Clinical Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , Research Subjects/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Neoplasms/virology , Research Subjects/psychology , United States/epidemiology