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Br J Cancer ; 124(8): 1357-1360, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072146


The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the National Health Service in United Kingdom. The UK Ocular Oncology Services evaluated the impact on the adult eye cancer care in the UK. All four adult Ocular Oncology centres participated in a multicentre retrospective review comparing uveal melanoma referral patterns and treatments in a 4-month period during the national lockdown and first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 with corresponding periods in previous 2 years. During the national lockdown, referral numbers and confirmed uveal melanoma cases reduced considerably, equalling to ~120 fewer diagnosed uveal melanoma cases compared to previous 2 years. Contrary to the recent trend, increased caseloads of enucleation and stereotactic radiosurgery (p > 0.05), in comparison to fewer proton beam therapy (p < 0.05), were performed. In the 4-month period following lockdown, there was a surge in clinical activities with more advanced diseases (p < 0.05) presenting to the services. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mount pressure and reveal its hidden impact on the eye cancer care, it is imperative for the Ocular Oncology Services to plan recovery strategies and innovative ways of working.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Eye Neoplasms/epidemiology , Melanoma/epidemiology , Pandemics , Uveal Neoplasms/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Eye Neoplasms/complications , Eye Neoplasms/therapy , Eye Neoplasms/virology , Humans , Melanoma/complications , Melanoma/therapy , Melanoma/virology , Proton Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , State Medicine , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Uveal Neoplasms/complications , Uveal Neoplasms/therapy , Uveal Neoplasms/virology
J Med Virol ; 92(10): 2081-2086, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-935097


SARS-CoV-2 is assumed to use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and other auxiliary proteins for cell entry. Recent studies have described conjunctival congestion in 0.8% of patients with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and there has been speculation that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through the conjunctiva. However, it is currently unclear whether conjunctival epithelial cells express ACE2 and its cofactors. In this study, a total of 38 conjunctival samples from 38 patients, including 12 healthy conjunctivas, 12 melanomas, seven squamous cell carcinomas, and seven papilloma samples, were analyzed using high-throughput RNA sequencing to assess messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and its cofactors including TMPRSS2, ANPEP, DPP4, and ENPEP. ACE2 protein expression was assessed in eight healthy conjunctival samples using immunohistochemistry. Our results show that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is not substantially expressed in conjunctival samples on the mRNA (median: 0.0 transcripts per million [TPM], min: 0.0 TPM, max: 1.7 TPM) and protein levels. Similar results were obtained for the transcription of other auxiliary molecules. In conclusion, this study finds no evidence for a significant expression of ACE2 and its auxiliary mediators for cell entry in conjunctival samples, making conjunctival infection with SARS-CoV-2 via these mediators unlikely.

COVID-19/virology , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/virology , Eye Neoplasms/virology , Melanoma/virology , Papilloma/virology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/surgery , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/complications , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/pathology , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/surgery , Case-Control Studies , Conjunctiva/pathology , Conjunctiva/surgery , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/metabolism , Eye Neoplasms/complications , Eye Neoplasms/pathology , Eye Neoplasms/surgery , Gene Expression , Glutamyl Aminopeptidase/genetics , Glutamyl Aminopeptidase/metabolism , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Male , Melanoma/complications , Melanoma/pathology , Melanoma/surgery , Middle Aged , Papilloma/complications , Papilloma/pathology , Papilloma/surgery , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism