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1.
Cancer Control ; 28: 10732748211045275, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has overwhelmed the capacity of healthcare systems worldwide. Cancer patients, in particular, are vulnerable and oncology departments drastically needed to modify their care systems and established new priorities. We evaluated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the activity of a single cancer center. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of (i) volumes of oncological activities (2020 vs 2019), (ii) patients' perception rate of the preventive measures, (iii) patients' SARS-CoV-2 infections, clinical signs thereof, and (iv) new diagnoses made during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. RESULTS: As compared with a similar time frame in 2019, the overall activity in total numbers of outpatient chemotherapy administrations and specialist visits was not statistically different (P = .961 and P = .252), while inpatient admissions decreased for both medical oncology and thoracic oncology (18% (P = .0018) and 44% (P < .0001), respectively). Cancer diagnosis plummeted (-34%), but no stage shift could be demonstrated.Acceptance and adoption of hygienic measures was high, as measured by a targeted questionnaire (>85%). However, only 46.2% of responding patients regarded telemedicine, although widely deployed, as an efficient surrogate to a consultation.Thirty-three patients developed SARS-CoV-2, 27 were hospitalized, and 11 died within this time frame. These infected patients were younger, current smokers, and suffered more comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective cohort analysis adds to the evidence that continuation of active cancer therapy and specialist visits is feasible and safe with the implementation of telemedicine. These data further confirm the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on cancer care management, cancer diagnosis, and impact of infection on cancer patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Age Factors , Comorbidity , Cyclopentanes , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/mortality , Organosilicon Compounds , Pandemics , Perception , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Appl Clin Inform ; 12(3): 629-636, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309479

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Accurate metrics of provider activity within the electronic health record (EHR) are critical to understand workflow efficiency and target optimization initiatives. We utilized newly described, log-based core metrics at a tertiary cancer center during rapid escalation of telemedicine secondary to initial coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) peak onset of social distancing restrictions at our medical center (COVID-19 peak). These metrics evaluate the impact on total EHR time, work outside of work, time on documentation, time on prescriptions, inbox time, teamwork for orders, and undivided attention patients receive during an encounter. Our study aims were to evaluate feasibility of implementing these metrics as an efficient tool to optimize provider workflow and to track impact on workflow to various provider groups, including physicians, advanced practice providers (APPs), and different medical divisions, during times of significant policy change in the treatment landscape. METHODS: Data compilation and analysis was retrospectively performed in Tableau utilizing user and schedule data obtained from Cerner Millennium PowerChart and our internal scheduling software. We analyzed three distinct time periods: the 3 months prior to the initial COVID-19 peak, the 3 months during peak, and 3 months immediately post-peak. RESULTS: Application of early COVID-19 restrictions led to a significant increase of telemedicine encounters from baseline <1% up to 29.2% of all patient encounters. During initial peak period, there was a significant increase in total EHR time, work outside of work, time on documentation, and inbox time for providers. Overall APPs spent significantly more time in the EHR compared with physicians. All of the metrics returned to near baseline after the initial COVID-19 peak in our area. CONCLUSION: Our analysis showed that implementation of these core metrics is both feasible and can provide an accurate representation of provider EHR workflow adjustments during periods of change, while providing a basis for cross-vendor and cross-institutional analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Electronic Health Records , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Algorithms , Data Collection , Documentation , Health Policy , Humans , Pattern Recognition, Automated , Retrospective Studies , Software , User-Computer Interface , Workflow
3.
Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; 5(2): e1426, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237412

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cancer care during the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging especially in a developing country such as the Philippines. Oncologists were advised to prioritize chemotherapy based on the absolute benefit that the patient may receive, which outbalances the risks of Covid-19 infection. The results of this study will allow re-examination of how to approach cancer care during the pandemic and ultimately, help optimize treatment recommendations during this crisis. AIM: This study described the factors contributing to treatment delays during the pandemic and their impact on disease progression. MATERIALS AND RESULTS: This retrospective cohort study was done in St. Luke's Medical Center, a private tertiary healthcare institution based in Metro Manila, Philippines, composed of two facilities in Quezon City and Global City. Patients with solid malignancy with ongoing systemic cancer treatment prior to the peak of the pandemic were identified. Clinical characteristics and treatment data were compared between those with delayed and continued treatments. Multivariate analysis was done to determine factors for treatment delays and association of delays with disease progression and Covid-19 infection. Of the 111 patients, 33% experienced treatment delays and 67% continued treatment during the pandemic. There was a higher percentage of patients on palliative intent who underwent treatment delay, and 64% of delays were due to logistic difficulties. Treatment delays were significantly associated with disease progression (p < .0001). There was no evidence of association between delay or continuation of treatment and risk of Covid-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in Covid-19 infection between those who delayed and continued treatment during the pandemic; however, treatment delays were associated with a higher incidence of disease progression. Our findings suggest that the risks of cancer progression due to treatment delays exceed the risks of Covid-19 infection in cancer patients implying that beneficial treatment should not be delayed as much as possible. Logistic hindrances were also identified as the most common cause of treatment delay among Filipino patients, suggesting that efforts should be focused into assistance programs that will mitigate these barriers to ensure continuity of cancer care services during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Philippines/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
4.
BJU Int ; 128(6): 752-758, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219502

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a centralized specialist kidney cancer care pathway. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patient and pathway characteristics including prioritization strategies at the Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer located at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFH) before and during the surge of COVID-19. RESULTS: On 18 March 2020 all elective surgery was halted at RFH to redeploy resources and staff for the COVID-19 surge. Prioritizing of patients according to European Association of Urology guidance was introduced. Clinics and the specialist multidisciplinary team (SMDT) meetings were maintained with physical distancing, kidney surgery was moved to a COVID-protected site, and infection prevention measurements were enforced. During the 7 weeks of lockdown (23 March to 10 May 2020), 234 cases were discussed at the SMDT meetings, 53% compared to the 446 cases discussed in the 7 weeks pre-lockdown. The reduction in referrals was more pronounced for small and asymptomatic renal masses. Of 62 low-priority cancer patients, 27 (43.5%) were deferred. Only one (4%) COVID-19 infection occurred postoperatively, and the patient made a full recovery. No increase in clinical or pathological upstaging could be detected in patients who underwent deferred surgery compared to pre-COVID practice. CONCLUSION: The first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted diagnosis, referral and treatment of kidney cancer at a tertiary referral centre. With a policy of prioritization and COVID-protected pathways, capacity for time-sensitive oncological interventions was maintained and no immediate clinical harm was observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/therapy , Kidney Neoplasms/therapy , Patient Care Team/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/pathology , Disease Progression , Hospitals, High-Volume/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Kidney Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasm Staging , Nephrectomy/statistics & numerical data , Patient Selection , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment , Watchful Waiting/statistics & numerical data
5.
Gynecol Oncol ; 162(1): 12-17, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213578

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare gynecologic oncology surgical treatment modifications and delays during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between a publicly funded Canadian versus a privately funded American cancer center. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of all planned gynecologic oncology surgeries at University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, USA, between March 22,020 and July 302,020. Surgical treatment delays and modifications at both centers were compared to standard recommendations. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to adjust for confounders. RESULTS: A total of 450 surgical gynecologic oncology patients were included; 215 at UHN and 235 at BWH. There was a significant difference in median time from decision-to-treat to treatment (23 vs 15 days, p < 0.01) between UHN and BWH and a significant difference in treatment delays (32.56% vs 18.29%; p < 0.01) and modifications (8.37% vs 0.85%; p < 0.01), respectively. On multivariable analysis adjusting for age, race, treatment site and surgical priority status, treatment at UHN was an independent predictor of treatment modification (OR = 9.43,95% CI 1.81-49.05, p < 0.01). Treatment delays were higher at UHN (OR = 1.96,95% CI 1.14-3.36 p = 0.03) and for uterine disease (OR = 2.43, 95% CI 1.11-5.33, p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: During the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, gynecologic oncology patients treated at a publicly funded Canadian center were 9.43 times more likely to have a surgical treatment modification and 1.96 times more likely to have a surgical delay compared to an equal volume privately funded center in the United States.


Subject(s)
Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Genital Neoplasms, Female/surgery , Hospitals, Private/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Public/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Canada/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Female , Genital Neoplasms, Female/diagnosis , Gynecologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Gynecology/economics , Gynecology/organization & administration , Gynecology/standards , Gynecology/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Private/economics , Hospitals, Private/organization & administration , Hospitals, Private/standards , Hospitals, Public/economics , Hospitals, Public/organization & administration , Hospitals, Public/standards , Humans , Medical Oncology/economics , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Medical Oncology/standards , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers/economics , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors , Triage/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
Bull Cancer ; 108(6): 571-580, 2021 Jun.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201284

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused profound upset in health systems around the world. As cancer patients seem to be at greater risk, the organization of oncological care had to be adapted. We first report the progress of the "first wave" of COVID-19 at the Institut Curie, a French comprehensive cancer center, by describing the measures implemented to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while ensuring as much as possible the continuation of anticancer treatments. Then, we present the results of a prospective institutional database in which the characteristics and outcome of our patients with cancer and suffering from COVID-19 were collected. From March 13 to April 25, 2020, 141 patients followed at Institut Curie for cancer developed COVID-19, of which 26 (18%) died from it. The minimum incidence of COVID-19 in Institut Curie is estimated at 1.4% over this period. No risk factors for developing a severe form of COVID-19 related to cancer have been identified. Cancer patients do not appear to be at greater risk of developing COVID-19, nor of having a more severe form than the general population. With the current increase of COVID-19 cases, it seems essential to share the experience already acquired to minimize the impact of this crisis on the long-term outcome of patients followed for cancer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/complications , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cause of Death , Databases, Factual , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Neoplasms/therapy , Prospective Studies
7.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 6: 1428-1438, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088630

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic affected health care systems globally and resulted in the interruption of usual care in many health care facilities, exposing vulnerable patients with cancer to significant risks. Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of this pandemic on cancer care worldwide. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using a validated web-based questionnaire of 51 items. The questionnaire obtained information on the capacity and services offered at these centers, magnitude of disruption of care, reasons for disruption, challenges faced, interventions implemented, and the estimation of patient harm during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 356 centers from 54 countries across six continents participated between April 21 and May 8, 2020. These centers serve 716,979 new patients with cancer a year. Most of them (88.2%) reported facing challenges in delivering care during the pandemic. Although 55.34% reduced services as part of a preemptive strategy, other common reasons included an overwhelmed system (19.94%), lack of personal protective equipment (19.10%), staff shortage (17.98%), and restricted access to medications (9.83%). Missing at least one cycle of therapy by > 10% of patients was reported in 46.31% of the centers. Participants reported patient exposure to harm from interruption of cancer-specific care (36.52%) and noncancer-related care (39.04%), with some centers estimating that up to 80% of their patients were exposed to harm. CONCLUSION: The detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care is widespread, with varying magnitude among centers worldwide. Additional research to assess this impact at the patient level is required.


Subject(s)
Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Global Burden of Disease , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans , Infection Control/standards , International Cooperation , Medical Oncology/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data
8.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(3): e26799, 2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085135

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In view of repeated COVID-19 outbreaks in most countries, clinical trials will continue to be conducted under outbreak prevention and control measures for the next few years. It is very significant to explore an optimal clinical trial management model during the outbreak period to provide reference and insight for other clinical trial centers worldwide. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the management strategies used to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on oncology clinical trials. METHODS: We implemented a remote management model to maintain clinical trials conducted at Beijing Cancer Hospital, which realized remote project approval, remote initiation, remote visits, remote administration and remote monitoring to get through two COVID-19 outbreaks in the capital city from February to April and June to July 2020. The effectiveness of measures was evaluated as differences in rates of protocol compliance, participants lost to follow-up, participant withdrawal, disease progression, participant mortality, and detection of monitoring problems. RESULTS: During the late of the first outbreak, modifications were made in trial processing, participant management and quality control, which allowed the hospital to ensure the smooth conduct of 572 trials, with a protocol compliance rate of 85.24% for 3718 participants across both outbreaks. No COVID-19 infections were recorded among participants or trial staff, and no major procedural errors occurred between February and July 2020. These measures led to significantly higher rates of protocol compliance and significantly lower rates of loss to follow-up or withdrawal after the second outbreak than after the first, without affecting rates of disease progression or mortality. The hospital provided trial sponsors with a remote monitoring system in a timely manner, and 3820 trial issues were identified. CONCLUSIONS: When public health emergencies occur, an optimal clinical trial model combining on-site and remote management could guarantee the health care and treatment needs of clinical trial participants, in which remote management plays a key role.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Beijing/epidemiology , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Clinical Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Oncology/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Ann Palliat Med ; 10(2): 1763-1771, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940446

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cancer patients are vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) given their compromised immune system. The purpose of this study was to describe the presenting symptoms, inpatient stay trajectory, and survival outcomes, for cancer patients infected with COVID-19; who presented to the emergency department (ED) of a single center during the early months of the pandemic. METHODS: We reviewed the electronic medical records of all cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at our institution for demographic information, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, treatment intervention and outcomes. All patients had at least 14 days of follow-up. We determined their survival outcomes as of August 5, 2020. RESULTS: Twenty-eight cancer patients were diagnosed with COVID-19, and 16 (57%) presented to the ED during the study period. The median age of patients who presented to the ED was 61 years, 69% were women, and the median length of hospitalization was 11 days. There was no difference between the groups (ED vs. no ED visit) for demographics, treatment status or solid tumor versus hematologic malignancies or treatments. Dyspnea was a significant symptom with 67% of ED patients experiencing it versus only 17% of those that did not come to the ED (P=0.009). Do not resuscitate orders were initiated in eight patients, as early as two days from ED presentation and two of these patients died, while 88% of patients were discharged alive. CONCLUSIONS: Most cancer patients with COVID-19 infection admitted though the ED experienced dyspnea and were discharged from the hospital. We did not notice a statistically significant difference between cancer types or type of therapy. A broad differential is of utmost importance when caring for cancer patients with COVID-19 due to the complexity of this population. Early goals of care discussion should be initiated in the ED.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Neoplasms/complications , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Dyspnea/virology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Survival Analysis
11.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0241261, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-892388

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of cancer inpatients with COVID-19 exploring clinical outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective search in the electronic medical records of cancer inpatients admitted to the Brazilian National Cancer Institute from April 30, 2020 to May 26, 2020 granted identification of 181 patients with COVID-19 confirmed by RT-PCR. RESULTS: The mean age was 55.3 years (SD ± 21.1). Comorbidities were present in 110 (60.8%) cases. The most prevalent solid tumors were breast (40 [22.1%]), gastrointestinal (24 [13.3%]), and gynecological (22 [12.2%]). Among hematological malignancies, lymphoma (20 [11%]) and leukemia (10 [5.5%]) predominated. Metastatic disease accounted for 90 (49.7%) cases. In total, 63 (34.8%) had recently received cytotoxic chemotherapy. The most common complications were respiratory failure (70 [38.7%]), septic shock (40 [22.1%]) and acute kidney injury (33 [18.2%]). A total of 60 (33.1%) patients died due to COVID-19 complications. For solid tumors, the COVID-19-specific mortality rate was 37.7% (52 out of 138 patients) and for hematological malignancies, 23.5% (8 out of 34). According to the univariate analysis COVID-19-specific mortality was significantly associated with age over 75 years (P = .002), metastatic cancer (p <0.001), two or more sites of metastases (P < .001), the presence of lung (P < .001) or bone metastases (P = .001), non-curative treatment or best supportive care intent (P < .001), higher C-reactive protein levels (P = .002), admission due to COVID-19 (P = .009), and antibiotics use (P = .02). After multivariate analysis, cases with admission due to symptoms of COVID-19 (P = .027) and with two or more metastatic sites (P < .001) showed a higher risk of COVID-19-specific death. CONCLUSION: This is the first Brazilian cohort of cancer patients with COVID-19. The rates of complications and COVID-19-specific death were significantly high.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Inpatients/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Academies and Institutes/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Cause of Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Immunocompromised Host , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
13.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 24(18): 9760-9764, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-814897

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Patients with cancer are usually immunosuppressive and susceptible to COVID-19 infection. Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are infective and cannot be identified by symptom-based screening. There is an urgent need to control virus spread by asymptomatic carriers at cancer centres. We aim to describe the characteristics, screening methods, and outcomes of cancer patients with asymptomatic COVID-19 infection and to further explore anti-tumour treatment for this population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed patients with cancer who were admitted to Hubei Cancer Hospital in Wuhan from February 1, 2020, to April 4, 2020. We collected demographic data, laboratory findings, treatment information, nucleic acid and serum test results, chest computed tomography (CT) information and survival status of cancer patients diagnosed with asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: A total of 16 cancer patients with asymptomatic COVID-19 infection were confirmed. The most common cancer type was breast cancer. The blood cell counts of most patients were in the normal range. Lymphocytes of 100% of asymptomatic carriers were in the normal range. Thirteen (81.3%) patients were positive for virus-specific IgM antibodies, and three (18.8%) were positive by PCR; only one (6.3%) patient showed novel coronavirus pneumonia features on CT. Three (18.3%) patients died, and the cause of death was considered malignancy caused by delaying anti-tumour treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that the lymphocytes of 100% of asymptomatic carriers were in the normal range. This result indicates that the host immunity of asymptomatic carriers is not significantly disrupted by COVID-19. Single PCR detection is not sufficient to screen among asymptomatic individuals, and a combination of PCR tests, serological tests and CT is of great importance. Unless the tumour is life-threatening or rapidly progressing, we advise restarting active anti-tumour therapy after PCR tests become negative.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate
15.
Strahlenther Onkol ; 196(12): 1068-1079, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754691

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: COVID-19 infection has manifested as a major threat to both patients and healthcare providers around the world. Radiation oncology institutions (ROI) deliver a major component of cancer treatment, with protocols that might span over several weeks, with the result of increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and presenting with a more severe clinical course when compared with the general population. The aim of this manuscript is to investigate the impact of ROI protocols and performance on daily practice in the high-risk cancer patients during this pandemic. METHODS: We addressed the incidence of positive COVID-19 cases in both patients and health care workers (HCW), in addition to the protective measures adopted in ROIs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland using a specific questionnaire. RESULTS: The results of the questionnaire showed that a noteworthy number of ROIs were able to complete treatment in SARS-CoV­2 positive cancer patients, with only a short interruption. The ROIs reported a significant decrease in patient volume that was not impacted by the circumambient disease incidence, the type of ROI or the occurrence of positive cases. Of the ROIs 16.5% also reported infected HCWs. About half of the ROIs (50.5%) adopted a screening program for patients whereas only 23.3% also screened their HCWs. The range of protective measures included the creation of working groups, instituting home office work and protection with face masks. Regarding the therapeutic options offered, curative procedures were performed with either unchanged or moderately decreased schedules, whereas palliative or benign radiotherapy procedures were more often shortened. Most ROIs postponed or cancelled radiation treatment for benign indications (88.1%). The occurrence of SARS-CoV­2 infections did not affect the treatment options for curative procedures. Non-university-based ROIs seemed to be more willing to change their treatment options for curative and palliative cases than university-based ROIs. CONCLUSION: Most ROIs reported a deep impact of SARS-CoV­2 infections on their work routine. Modification and prioritization of treatment regimens and the application of protective measures preserved a well-functioning radiation oncology service and patient care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Appointments and Schedules , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Comorbidity , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, Community , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/organization & administration , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/supply & distribution , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Palliative Care/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Risk , Surveys and Questionnaires , Switzerland/epidemiology , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data
16.
ESMO Open ; 5(4)2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733148

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 appeared in late 2019, causing a pandemic spread. This led to a reorganisation of oncology care in order to reduce the risk of spreading infection between patients and healthcare staff. Here we analysed measures taken in major oncological units in Europe and the USA. METHODS: A 46-item survey was sent by email to representatives of 30 oncological centres in 12 of the most affected countries. The survey inquired about preventive measures established to reduce virus spread, patient education and processes employed for risk reduction in each oncological unit. RESULTS: Investigators from 21 centres in 10 countries answered the survey between 10 April and 6 May 2020. A triage for patients with cancer before hospital or clinic visits was conducted by 90.5% of centres before consultations, 95.2% before day care admissions and in 100% of the cases before overnight hospitalisation by means of phone calls, interactive online platforms, swab test and/or chest CT scan. Permission for caregivers to attend clinic visits was limited in many centres, with some exceptions (ie, for non-autonomous patients, in the case of a new diagnosis, when bad news was expected and for terminally ill patients). With a variable delay period, the use of personal protective equipment was unanimously mandatory, and in many centres, only targeted clinical and instrumental examinations were performed. Telemedicine was implemented in 76.2% of the centres. Separated pathways for COVID-19-positive and COVID-19-negative patients were organised, with separate inpatient units and day care areas. Self-isolation was required for COVID-19-positive or symptomatic staff, while return to work policies required a negative swab test in 76.2% of the centres. CONCLUSION: Many pragmatic measures have been quickly implemented to deal with the health emergency linked to COVID-19, although the relative efficacy of each intervention should be further analysed in large observational studies.


Subject(s)
Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Disinfection , Europe/epidemiology , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage , United States/epidemiology , Visitors to Patients
17.
J Surg Oncol ; 122(7): 1276-1287, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728110

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted cancer care across India. This study aimed to assess (a) organizational preparedness of hospitals (establishment of screening clinics, COVID-19 wards/committees/intensive care units [ICUs]/operating rooms [ORs]), (b) type of major/minor surgeries performed, and (c) employee well-being (determined by salary deductions, paid leave provisions, and work in-rotation). METHODS: This online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was distributed to 480 oncosurgeons across India. We used χ2 statistics to compare responses across geographical areas (COVID-19 lockdown zones and city tiers) and type of organization (government/private, academic/nonacademic, and dedicated/multispecialty hospitals). P < .05 was considered significant. RESULTS: Total of 256 (53.3%) oncologists completed the survey. About 206 hospitals in 85 cities had screening clinics (98.1%), COVID-19 dedicated committees (73.7%), ward (67.3%), ICU's (49%), and OR's (36%). Such preparedness was higher in tier-1 cities, government, academic, and multispecialty hospitals. Dedicated cancer institutes continued major surgeries in all oncological subspecialties particularly in head and neck (P = .006) and colorectal oncology (P = .04). Employee well-being was better in government hospitals. CONCLUSION: Hospitals have implemented strategies to continue cancer care. Despite limited resources, the significant risk associated and financial setbacks amidst nationwide lockdown, oncosurgeons are striving to prioritize and balance the oncologic needs and safety concerns of cancer patients across the country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/surgery , Adult , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surgical Oncology/methods , Surgical Oncology/organization & administration , Surgical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
Radiol Oncol ; 54(3): 329-334, 2020 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691313

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the provision and use of healthcare services throughout the world. In Slovenia, an epidemic was officially declared between mid-March and mid-May 2020. Although all non-essential health care services were put on hold by government decree, oncological services were listed as an exception. Nevertheless, as cancer control depends also on other health services and additionally major changes in people's behaviour likely occurred, we aimed to analyse whether cancer diagnosis and management were affected during the COVID-19 epidemic in Slovenia. Methods We analysed routine data for the period November 2019 through May 2020 from three sources: (1) from the Slovenian Cancer Registry we analysed data on pathohistological and clinical practice cancer notifications from two major cancer centres in Ljubljana and Maribor; (2) from the e-referral system we analysed data on all referrals in Slovenia issued for oncological services, stratified by type of referral; and (3) from the administrative data of the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana we analysed data on outpatient visits by type as well as on diagnostic imaging performed. Results Compared to the November 2019 - February 2020 average, the decrease in April 2020 was about 43% and 29% for pathohistological and clinical cancer notifications; 33%, 46% and 85% for first, control and genetic counselling referrals; 19% (53%), 43% (72%) and 20% (21%) for first (and control) outpatient visits at the radiotherapy, surgery and medical oncology sectors at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, and 48%, 76%, and 42% for X-rays, mammograms and ultrasounds performed at the Institute, respectively. The number of CT and MRI scans performed was not affected. Conclusions Significant drops in first referrals for oncological services, first visits and imaging studies performed at the Institute, as well as cancer notifications in April 2020 point to a possibility of a delayed cancer diagnosis for some patients during the first surge of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Slovenia. The reasons for the delay cannot be ascertained with certainty and could be linked to health-seeking behaviour of the patients, the beliefs and practices of doctors and/ or the health system management during the epidemic. Drops in control referrals and control visits were expected and are most likely due to the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana postponing non-essential follow-ups through May 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Delayed Diagnosis , Diagnostic Imaging/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Slovenia/epidemiology
19.
Oncologist ; 25(10): e1509-e1515, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a public health emergency affecting frail populations, including patients with cancer. This poses the question of whether cancer treatments can be postponed or modified without compromising their efficacy, especially for highly curable cancers such as germ cell tumors (GCTs). MATERIALS AND METHODS: To depict the state-of-the-art management of GCTs during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey including 26 questions was circulated by e-mail among the physicians belonging to three cooperative groups: (a) Italian Germ Cell Cancer Group; (b) European Reference Network-Rare Adult Solid Cancers, Domain G3 (rare male genitourinary cancers); and (c) Genitourinary Medical Oncologists of Canada. Percentages of agreement between Italian respondents (I) versus Canadian respondents (C), I versus European respondents (E), and E versus C were compared by using Fisher's exact tests for dichotomous answers and chi square test for trends for the questions with three or more options. RESULTS: Fifty-three GCT experts responded to the survey: 20 Italian, 6 in other European countries, and 27 from Canada. Telemedicine was broadly used; there was high consensus to interrupt chemotherapy in COVID-19-positive patients (I = 75%, C = 55%, and E = 83.3%) and for use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor primary prophylaxis for neutropenia (I = 65%, C = 62.9%, and E = 50%). The main differences emerged regarding the management of stage I and stage IIA disease, likely because of cultural and geographical differences. CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the common efforts of GCT experts in Europe and Canada to maintain high standards of treatment for patients with GCT with few changes in their management during the COVID-19 pandemic. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Despite the chaos, disruptions, and fears fomented by the COVID-19 illness, oncology care teams in Italy, other European countries, and Canada are delivering the enormous promise of curative management strategies for patients with testicular cancer and other germ cell tumors. At the same time, these teams are applying safe and innovative solutions and sharing best practices to minimize frequency and intensity of patient contacts with thinly stretched health care capacity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/trends , Europe/epidemiology , Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor/therapeutic use , Humans , Oncologists/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/trends
20.
J Surg Oncol ; 122(5): 831-838, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690419

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent declaration of pandemic was an unprecedented event, which created different complex situations for treatment of cancer patients. A critical assessment of the response to this calamity and its impact on healthcare workers (HCWs) and patient care in a dedicated cancer hospital is analyzed. SITE OF STUDY: Indrayani Cancer Hospital, Alandi, Pune, India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Due to the pandemic, standard operating protocols were decided on for each department. Analysis of the impact on healthcare was done by comparing the number of patients taking treatment in the lockdown period in India with the previous year's data in the same corresponding period in all three departments. The impact of COVID infection on the HCW and its repercussions were analyzed. RESULTS: There was a marked decrease in the total number of patients during the lockdown period. The most affected department was surgical oncology. None of our patients contracted COVID-19, but one HCW was found to be positive. CONCLUSION: Strict adherence to protocols along with the support of the government authorities can prevent the spread of this virus thus providing optimal patient outcomes. The treatment of patients with cancer should not be delayed, even in times of a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , Rural Health Services/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , India/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/methods , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Neoplasms/surgery , Pandemics , Surgical Oncology/methods , Surgical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Surgical Procedures, Operative/methods , Surgical Procedures, Operative/statistics & numerical data
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