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JCO Oncol Pract ; 17(12): e1879-e1886, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270943


PURPOSE: Multiple studies have demonstrated the negative impact of cancer care delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, and transmission mitigation techniques are imperative for continued cancer care delivery. We aimed to gauge the effectiveness of these measures at the University of Pennsylvania. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal study of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity and seroconversion in patients presenting to infusion centers for cancer-directed therapy between May 21, 2020, and October 8, 2020. Participants completed questionnaires and had up to five serial blood collections. RESULTS: Of 124 enrolled patients, only two (1.6%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on initial blood draw, and no initially seronegative patients developed newly detectable antibodies on subsequent blood draw(s), corresponding to a seroconversion rate of 0% (95% CI, 0.0 TO 4.1%) over 14.8 person-years of follow up, with a median of 13 health care visits per patient. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that patients with cancer receiving in-person care at a facility with aggressive mitigation efforts have an extremely low likelihood of COVID-19 infection.

Cancer ; 127(16): 2855-2860, 2021 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178982


With rapid modifications in cancer clinical trial operations necessitated by the global pandemic over the last year, there is now an unprecedented opportunity to reform clinical research permanently and solidify innovative practices that have clearly been effective. On the basis of the authors' experience and recommendations from other institutions, a set of specific proposals for clinical trial reform are identified that can be implemented immediately by sponsors, regulators, and study sites. Improvements in clinical trial processes should include increased leverage of technology to facilitate remote trial activity and electronic documents, more efficient and effective communication of adverse event information, and better study design to optimize inclusion criteria, required research procedures, and data collection. The authors suggest that such reform will preserve patient safety and study integrity, address unnecessary and inefficient pre-pandemic constraints, improve access to clinical trials for patients, and speed improvements in cancer care.

JNCI Cancer Spectr ; 5(1): pkaa120, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069274


Cancer patients are a vulnerable population postulated to be at higher risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in cancer patients may be attributable to age, comorbidities, smoking, health care exposure, and cancer treatments, and partially to the cancer itself. Most studies to date have focused on hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, thereby limiting the generalizability and interpretability of the association between cancer and COVID-19 severity. We compared outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 323 patients enrolled in a population-based study before the pandemic (n = 67 cancer patients; n = 256 noncancer patients). After adjusting for demographics, smoking status, and comorbidities, a diagnosis of cancer was independently associated with higher odds of hospitalization (odds ratio = 2.16, 95% confidence interval = 1.12 to 4.18) and 30-day mortality (odds ratio = 5.67, 95% confidence interval = 1.49 to 21.59). These associations were primarily driven by patients with active cancer. These results emphasize the critical importance of preventing SARS-CoV-2 exposure and mitigating infection in cancer patients.