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1.
Eur J Cancer ; 160: 150-174, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525772

ABSTRACT

The ability to exploit the immune system as a weapon against cancer has revolutionised the treatment of cancer patients, especially through immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). However, ICIs demonstrated a modest benefit in treating breast cancer (BC), with the exception of certain subsets of triple-negative BCs. An immune-suppressive tumour microenvironment (TME), typically present in BC, is an important factor in the poor response to immunotherapy. After almost two decades of poor clinical trial results, cancer vaccines (CVs), an active immunotherapy, have come back in the spotlight because of some technological advancements, ultimately boosted by coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. In particular, neoantigens are emerging as the preferred targets for CVs, with gene-based and viral vector-based platforms in development. Moreover, lipid nanoparticles proved to be immunogenic and efficient delivery vehicles. Past clinical trials investigating CVs focused especially on the metastatic disease, where the TME is more likely compromised by inhibitory mechanisms. In this sense, favouring the use of CVs as monotherapy in premalignant or in the adjuvant setting and establishing combination treatments (i.e. CV plus ICI) in late-stage disease are promising strategies. This review provides a full overview of the past and current breast cancer vaccine landscape.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Cancer Vaccines/therapeutic use , Tumor Microenvironment , Animals , Breast Neoplasms/immunology , Female , Humans
2.
Breast Cancer ; 28(6): 1340-1345, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency in Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures on April 7, 2020; this was extended to the remaining prefectures on April 16, 2020. The state of emergency was lifted on May 25, 2020. Although it was known that breast cancer screening was postponed or canceled during this period, the actual extent of postponement or cancellation has not been clarified. METHODS: We investigated postponement or cancellation of breast cancer screening between April and May 2020 using a cross-sectional, web-based, self-reported questionnaire survey. In addition, we examined the association between socioeconomic and health-related factors and postponement or cancellation by multivariable log-binominal regression. RESULTS: Among 1874 women aged 30-79 years who had scheduled breast cancer screening during the study period, 493 women (26.3%) postponed or canceled screening. While women aged 30-39 years and 70-79 years postponed or canceled less frequently than women aged 40-49 years (prevalence ratio = 0.62 and 0.56, respectively), there was no significant difference between age groups in the women aged 40-69 years. Postponement or cancellation was more frequent in five prefectures, where the state of emergency was declared early (prevalence ratio = 1.25). Employment status, annual household income, family structure, academic background, smoking status, and fear of COVID-19 were not associated with postponement or cancellation. CONCLUSION: Although care should be taken with the interpretation of these findings due to possible biases, they suggest that the postponement or cancellation of breast cancer screening might be due more to facility suspension than to individual factors. It is necessary to explore the ideal way of encouraging breast cancer screening uptake, in an environment of coexistence with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Early Detection of Cancer/psychology , Early Detection of Cancer/standards , Fear , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Self Report/statistics & numerical data
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(13)2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288883

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had multilevel effects on non-COVID-19 health and health care, including deferral of routine cancer prevention and screening and delays in surgical and other procedures. Health and health care use has also been affected by pandemic-related loss of employer-based health insurance, food and housing disruptions, and heightened stress, sleep disruptions and social isolation. These disruptions are projected to contribute to excess non-COVID-19 deaths over the coming decades. At the same time municipalities, health systems and individuals are making changes in response to the pandemic, including modifications in the environmental to promote health, implementation of telehealth platforms, and shifts towards greater self-care and using remote platforms to maintain social connections. We used a multi-level biopsychosocial model to examine the available literature on the relationship between COVID-19-related changes and breast cancer prevention to identify current gaps in knowledge and identify potential opportunities for future research. We found that COVID-19 has impacted several aspects of social and economic life, through a variety of mechanisms, including unemployment, changes in health care delivery, changes in eating and activity, and changes in mental health. Some of these changes should be reduced, while others should be explored and enhanced.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Health Promotion , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 416-424, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239918

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The coronavirus-induced pandemic has put great pressure on health systems worldwide. Nonemergency health services, such as cancer screening, have been scaled down or withheld as a result of travel restrictions and resources being redirected to manage the pandemic. The present article discusses the challenges to cancer screening implementation in the pandemic environment, suggesting ways to optimize services for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. METHODS: The manuscript was drafted by a team of public health specialists with expertise in implementation and monitoring of cancer screening. A scoping review of literature revealed the lack of comprehensive guidance on continuation of cancer screening in the midst of waxing and waning of infection. The recommendations in the present article were based on the advisories issued by different health agencies and professional bodies and the authors' understanding of the best practices to maintain quality-assured cancer screening. RESULTS: A well-coordinated approach is required to ensure that essential health services such as cancer management are maintained and elective services are not threatened, especially because of resource constraints. In the context of cancer screening, a few changes in invitation strategies, screening and management protocols and program governance need to be considered to fit into the new normal situation. Restoring public trust in providing efficient and safe services should be one of the key mandates for screening program reorganization. This may be a good opportunity to introduce innovations (eg, telehealth) and consider de-implementing non-evidence-based practices. It is necessary to consider increased spending on primary health care and incorporating screening services in basic health package. CONCLUSION: The article provides guidance on reorganization of screening policies, governance, implementation, and program monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Telemedicine , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
6.
Health Serv Res ; 56(1): 95-101, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066573

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To measure the extent to which the provision of mammograms was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding guidelines. DATA SOURCES: De-identified summary data derived from medical claims and eligibility files were provided by Independence Blue Cross for women receiving mammograms. STUDY DESIGN: We used a difference-in-differences approach to characterize the change in mammograms performed over time and a queueing formula to estimate the time to clear the queue of missed mammograms. DATA COLLECTION: We used data from the first 30 weeks of each year from 2018 to 2020. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Over the 20 weeks following March 11, 2020, the volume of screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms fell by 58% and 38% of expected levels, on average. Lowest volumes were observed in week 15 (April 8 to 14), when screening and diagnostic mammograms fell by 99% and 74%, respectively. Volumes began to rebound in week 19 (May), with diagnostic mammograms reaching levels to similar to previous years' and screening mammograms remaining 14% below expectations. We estimate it will take a minimum of 22 weeks to clear the queue of missed mammograms in our study sample. CONCLUSIONS: The provision of mammograms has been significantly disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Mammography/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
8.
Cancer ; 126(20): 4466-4472, 2020 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693298

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The objective of the current study was to provide insight into the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on breast cancer screening, breast surgery, and genetics consultations. METHODS: User data from a risk assessment company were collected from February 2 to April 11, 2020. The use of risk assessment was used as a proxy for the use of 3 breast cancer services, namely, breast imaging, breast surgery, and genetics consultation. Changes in the use of these services during the study period were analyzed. RESULTS: All 3 services experienced significant declines after the COVID-19 outbreak. The decline in breast surgery began during the week of March 8, followed by breast imaging and genetics consultation (both of which began during the week of March 15). Breast imaging experienced the most significant reduction, with an average weekly decline of 61.7% and a maximum decline of 94.6%. Breast surgery demonstrated an average weekly decline of 20.5%. When surgical consultation was stratified as breast cancer versus no breast cancer, the decrease among in non-breast cancer patients was more significant than that of patients with breast cancer (a decline of 66.8% vs 11.5% from the pre-COVID average weekly volume for non-breast cancer patients and patients with breast cancer, respectively). During the week of April 5, use of genetics consultations dropped to 39.9% of the average weekly volumes before COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the number of patients undergoing breast cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging , Breast Neoplasms/genetics , Breast Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19 , Mastectomy/statistics & numerical data , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Female , Genetic Counseling/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mammography/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment , United States/epidemiology
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