Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 20
Filter
1.
Radiol Med ; 126(12): 1619-1656, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439752

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged healthcare systems worldwide over the last few months, and it continues to do so. Although some restrictions are being removed, it is not certain when the pandemic is going to be definitively over. Pandemics can be seen as a highly complex logistic scenario. From this perspective, some of the indications provided for palliative radiotherapy (PRT) during the COVID-19 pandemic could be maintained in the future in settings that limit the possibility of patients achieving symptom relief by radiotherapy. This paper has two aims: (1) to provide a summary of the indications for PRT during the COVID-19 pandemic; since some indications can differ slightly, and to avoid any possible contradictions, an expert panel composed of the Italian Association of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology (AIRO) and the Palliative Care and Supportive Therapies Working Group (AIRO-palliative) voted by consensus on the summary; (2) to introduce a clinical care model for PRT [endorsed by AIRO and by a spontaneous Italian collaborative network for PRT named "La Rete del Sollievo" ("The Net of Relief")]. The proposed model, denoted "No cOmpRoMise on quality of life by pALliative radiotherapy" (NORMALITY), is based on an AIRO-palliative consensus-based list of clinical indications for PRT and on practical suggestions regarding the management of patients potentially suitable for PRT but dealing with highly complex logistics scenarios (similar to the ongoing logistics limits due to COVID-19). MATERIAL AND METHODS: First, a summary of the available literature guidelines for PRT published during the COVID-19 pandemic was prepared. A systematic literature search based on the PRISMA approach was performed to retrieve the available literature reporting guideline indications fully or partially focused on PRT. Tables reporting each addressed clinical presentation and respective literature indications were prepared and distributed into two main groups: palliative emergencies and palliative non-emergencies. These summaries were voted in by consensus by selected members of the AIRO and AIRO-palliative panels. Second, based on the summary for palliative indications during the COVID-19 pandemic, a clinical care model to facilitate recruitment and delivery of PRT to patients in complex logistic scenarios was proposed. The summary tables were critically integrated and shuffled according to clinical presentations and then voted on in a second consensus round. Along with the adapted guideline indications, some methods of performing the first triage of patients and facilitating a teleconsultation preliminary to the first in-person visit were developed. RESULTS: After the revision of 161 documents, 13 papers were selected for analysis. From the papers, 19 clinical presentation items were collected; in total, 61 question items were extracted and voted on (i.e., for each presentation, more than one indication was provided from the literature). Two tables summarizing the PRT indications during the COVID-19 pandemic available from the literature (PRT COVID-19 summary tables) were developed: palliative emergencies and palliative non-emergencies. The consensus of the vote by the AIRO panel for the PRT COVID-19 summary was reached. The PRT COVID-19 summary tables for palliative emergencies and palliative non-emergencies were adapted for clinical presentations possibly associated with patients in complex clinical scenarios other than the COVID-19 pandemic. The two new indication tables (i.e., "Normality model of PRT indications") for both palliative emergencies and palliative non-emergencies were voted on in a second consensus round. The consensus rate was reached and strong. Written forms facilitating two levels of teleconsultation (triage and remote visits) were also developed, both in English and in Italian, to evaluate the patients for possible indications for PRT before scheduling clinical visits. CONCLUSION: We provide a comprehensive summary of the literature guideline indications for PRT during COVID-19 pandemic. We also propose a clinical care model including clinical indications and written forms facilitating two levels of teleconsultation (triage and remote visits) to evaluate the patients for indications of PRT before scheduling clinical visits. The normality model could facilitate the provision of PRT to patients in future complex logistic scenarios.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Palliative Care/methods , Radiation Oncology/methods , Consensus , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Societies, Medical
2.
J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol ; 65(4): 439-444, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311007

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Asia-Pacific Special Interest Group (APSIG) was formed in 2009 by the Australian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) to support radiation oncology services in low-to-middle income countries in our region. In 2017, APSIG moved to the ACPSEM's charity, the Better Healthcare Technology (BHT) Foundation, enabling improvement in fundraising, marketing and partnerships with like-minded organizations. METHODS: APSIG's main activity is to recruit certified medical physicists as volunteers to train local staff in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Mongolia. APSIG also supports remote mentoring, coordinates the delivery of donated radiotherapy equipment, and brings Asia-Pacific medical physicists to Australia and New Zealand for conferences and hospital training. RESULTS: The number of APSIG volunteer assignments has been steadily increasing over the last decade. Challenges include the limited number of ACPSEM certified medical physics volunteers, the limited opportunities to train the local physicists due to their heavy workloads, and language barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted volunteer assignments for now but a range of alternative means of assistance such as webinars, online tutorials and virtual meetings are planned to continue APSIG's activities. CONCLUSION: APSIG will continue to provide a support service to radiation oncology staff in the Asia-Pacific region. APSIG and the BHT Foundation's work promotes quality health care by supporting medical physicists in Asia-Pacific countries and championing better radiotherapy technology access and treatment knowledge sharing.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , International Cooperation , Radiation Oncology/education , Radiation Oncology/instrumentation , Voluntary Health Agencies , Asia , Australia , Humans , New Zealand , Radiation Oncology/methods
3.
J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol ; 65(4): 439-444, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276521

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Asia-Pacific Special Interest Group (APSIG) was formed in 2009 by the Australian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) to support radiation oncology services in low-to-middle income countries in our region. In 2017, APSIG moved to the ACPSEM's charity, the Better Healthcare Technology (BHT) Foundation, enabling improvement in fundraising, marketing and partnerships with like-minded organizations. METHODS: APSIG's main activity is to recruit certified medical physicists as volunteers to train local staff in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Mongolia. APSIG also supports remote mentoring, coordinates the delivery of donated radiotherapy equipment, and brings Asia-Pacific medical physicists to Australia and New Zealand for conferences and hospital training. RESULTS: The number of APSIG volunteer assignments has been steadily increasing over the last decade. Challenges include the limited number of ACPSEM certified medical physics volunteers, the limited opportunities to train the local physicists due to their heavy workloads, and language barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted volunteer assignments for now but a range of alternative means of assistance such as webinars, online tutorials and virtual meetings are planned to continue APSIG's activities. CONCLUSION: APSIG will continue to provide a support service to radiation oncology staff in the Asia-Pacific region. APSIG and the BHT Foundation's work promotes quality health care by supporting medical physicists in Asia-Pacific countries and championing better radiotherapy technology access and treatment knowledge sharing.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , International Cooperation , Radiation Oncology/education , Radiation Oncology/instrumentation , Voluntary Health Agencies , Asia , Australia , Humans , New Zealand , Radiation Oncology/methods
4.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 464-473, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171736

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate stress levels among the health care workers (HCWs) of the radiation oncology community in Asian countries. METHODS: HCWs of the radiation oncology departments from 29 tertiary cancer care centers of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Nepal were studied from May 2020 to July 2020. A total of 758 eligible HCWs were identified. The 7-Item Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire, and 22-Item Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used for assessing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Univariate and multivariate analysis was done to identify the causative factors affecting mental health. RESULTS: A total of 758 participants from 794 HCWs were analyzed. The median age was 31 years (IQR, 27-28). The incidence of moderate to severe levels of anxiety, depression, and stress was 34.8%, 31.2%, and 18.2%, respectively. Severe personal concerns were noticed by 60.9% of the staff. On multivariate analysis, the presence of commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 during the previous 2 weeks, contact history (harzard ratio [HR], 2.04; CI, 1.15 to 3.63), and compliance with precautionary measures (HR, 1.69; CI, 1.19 to 2.45) for COVID-19 significantly predicted for increasing anxiety (HR, 2.67; CI, 1.93 to 3.70), depression (HR, 3.38; CI 2.36 to 4.84), and stress (HR, 2.89; CI, 1.88 to 4.43) (P < .001). A significant regional variation was also noticed for anxiety, stress, and personal concerns. CONCLUSION: This survey conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that a significant proportion of HCWs in the radiation oncology community experiences moderate to severe levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. This trend is alarming and it is important to identify and intervene at the right time to improve the mental health of HCWs to avoid any long-term impacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Radiation Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/prevention & control , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Bangladesh/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/prevention & control , Depression/psychology , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , India/epidemiology , Indonesia/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal/epidemiology , Pandemics , Radiation Oncology/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/prevention & control , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
5.
Curr Oncol ; 28(1): 152-158, 2020 12 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090369

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus of 2019 has had a broad impact of the delivery of healthcare, including cancer care. We chose to quantify the impact in the radiation oncology department of the largest academic center in the hardest hit city in Canada. With the approval of our ethics review board, data on each patient treated from March 13, 2020 to August 10, 2020 were compared to patients treated during the same period in 2019. We compared the case mix, delay from treatment decision to treatment start, and number of fractions per patient. We reviewed prospectively collected information regarding deviations from our usual practice. During the pandemic the caseload was reduced by 12%; this was more pronounced in prostate and CNS tumors. The average number of fractions per patient was reduced from 12.3 to 10.9. This reduction was most marked in prostate, breast, gastro-intestinal, and palliative cases. When physicians were questioned, they reported that 17% of treatment plans deviated from their usual practice because of the pandemic. The most common deviations were related to changes in department policies (77%) vs. patient-specific deviations (20%) or changes requested by the patient (3%). Rare deviations were due to patients contracting COVID-19 (2 patients). At its worse, the wait list contained 27% of patients who had a delay to radiotherapy of more than 28 days. However, the average wait time increased little (19.6 days vs. 18.2 days) as more pressing cases were prioritized. In an unprecedented health crisis, our radiation oncology department was able to reduce resource utilization, notably by decreasing the number of fractions per patient. It will be important to follow these patients' health outcomes for insight into these practices. More quantitative tools to simulate and plan future practice changes in response to resource constraints will be implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Radiation Oncology/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Female , Humans , Male , Neoplasms/classification , Pandemics , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Oncology/trends , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
6.
Strahlenther Onkol ; 196(12): 1096-1102, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1018215

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting global health systems, endangering daily patient care. Hemato-oncological patients are particularly vulnerable to infection, requiring decisive recommendations on treatment and triage. The aim of this survey amongst experts on radiation therapy (RT) for lymphoma and leukemia is to delineate typical clinical scenarios and to provide counsel for high-quality care. METHODS: A multi-item questionnaire containing multiple-choice and free-text questions was developed in a peer-reviewed process and sent to members of the radiation oncology panels of the German Hodgkin Study Group and the German Lymphoma Alliance. Answers were assessed online and analyzed centrally. RESULTS: Omission of RT was only considered in a minority of cases if alternative treatment options were available. Hypofractionated regimens and reduced dosages may be used for indolent lymphoma and fractures due to multiple myeloma. Overall, there was a tendency to shorten RT rather than to postpone or omit it. Even in case of critical resource shortage, panelists agreed to start emergency RT for typical indications (intracranial pressure, spinal compression, superior vena cava syndrome) within 24 h. Possible criteria to consider for patient triage are the availability of (systemic) options, the underlying disease dynamic, and the treatment rationale (curative/palliative). CONCLUSION: RT for hemato-oncological patients receives high-priority and should be maintained even in later stages of the pandemic. Hypofractionation and shortened treatment schedules are feasible options for well-defined constellations, but have to be discussed in the clinical context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Lymphoma/radiotherapy , Multiple Myeloma/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Radiation Oncology/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Triage/standards , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Diagnosis, Differential , Dose Fractionation, Radiation , Humans , Hygiene/standards , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Lymphoma/complications , Lymphoma/drug therapy , Multiple Myeloma/complications , Osteolysis/etiology , Osteolysis/radiotherapy , Personal Protective Equipment , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Pneumonitis/diagnosis , Superior Vena Cava Syndrome/etiology , Superior Vena Cava Syndrome/radiotherapy , Surveys and Questionnaires , Time-to-Treatment , Whole-Body Irradiation
7.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 24(23): 12480-12489, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995004

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 disease is one of the biggest public health challenges in Italy and global healthcare facilities, including radiotherapy departments, faced an unprecedented emergency. Cancer patients are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection because of their immunosuppressive state caused by both tumor itself and anticancer therapy adopted. In this setting, the radiation therapy clinical decision-making process has been partly reconsidered; thus, to reduce treatment duration and minimize infection risk during a pandemic, hypofractionated regimens have been revised. Moreover, telemedicine shows its helpfulness in the radiotherapy field, and patients get the supportive care they need minimizing their access to hospitals. This review aims to point out the importance of hypofractionated RT and telemedicine in cancer patient management in the COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Radiation Dose Hypofractionation , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiotherapy/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Bone Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Bone Neoplasms/secondary , Brachytherapy/methods , Brain Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Brain Neoplasms/secondary , Breast Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Clinical Decision-Making , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Male , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Prostatic Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Radiosurgery/methods , Radiotherapy, Conformal/methods , Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment
8.
Technol Cancer Res Treat ; 19: 1533033820974021, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983619

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: With the widespread prevalence of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), cancer patients are suggested to wear a surgical mask during radiation treatment. In this study, cone beam CT (CBCT) was used to investigate the effect of surgical mask on setup errors in head and neck radiotherapy. METHODS: A total of 91 patients with head and neck tumors were selected. CBCT was performed to localize target volume after patient set up. The images obtained by CBCT before treatment were automatically registered with CT images and manually fine-tuned. The setup errors of patients in 6 directions of Vrt, Lng, Lat, Pitch, Roll and Rotation were recorded. The patients were divided into groups according to whether they wore the surgical mask, the type of immobilization mask used and the location of the isocenter. The setup errors of patients were calculated. A t-test was performed to detect whether it was statistically significant. RESULTS: In the 4 groups, the standard deviation in the directions of Lng and Pitch of the with surgical mask group were all higher than that in the without surgical mask group. In the head-neck-shoulder mask group, the mean in the Lng direction of the with surgical mask group was larger than that of the without surgical mask group. In the lateral isocenter group, the mean in the Lng and Pitch directions of the with surgical mask group were larger than that of the without surgical mask group. The t-test results showed that there was significant difference in the setup error between the 2 groups (p = 0.043 and p = 0.013, respectively) only in the Lng and Pitch directions of the head-neck-shoulder mask group. In addition, the setup error of 6 patients with immobilization open masks exhibited no distinguished difference from that of the patients with regular immobilization masks. CONCLUSION: In the head and neck radiotherapy patients, the setup error was affected by wearing surgical mask. It is recommended that the immobilization open mask should be used when the patient cannot finish the whole treatment with a surgical mask.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Masks , Radiotherapy Setup Errors/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Cone-Beam Computed Tomography/methods , Female , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Humans , Immobilization/instrumentation , Immobilization/methods , Immobilization/statistics & numerical data , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Oncology/standards , Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/adverse effects , Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/methods , Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/statistics & numerical data , Radiotherapy, Image-Guided/adverse effects , Radiotherapy, Image-Guided/methods , Radiotherapy, Image-Guided/statistics & numerical data , Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Shoulder , Young Adult
9.
Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; 4(2): e1320, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 outbreak was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Over the last 3 months, the pandemic has challenged the diagnosis and treatment of all cancer, including rectal cancer. Constraints in resources call for a change in the treatment strategy without compromising efficacy. RECENT FINDINGS: Delivery of shorter treatment schedules for radiotherapy offers advantages like short overall treatment time, improved throughput on the machine, improved compliance and reduced risk of transmission of COVID 19. Other strategies include delaying surgery, reducing the intensity of chemotherapy and adoption of organ preservation approach. CONCLUSION: The curative treatment of rectal cancer should not be hindered during the COVID pandemic, and modifications in the multi-modality treatment will help achieve quality care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Radiation Oncology/organization & administration , Rectal Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant/methods , Chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant/standards , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Neoadjuvant Therapy/methods , Neoadjuvant Therapy/standards , Organ Sparing Treatments/methods , Organ Sparing Treatments/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Oncology/standards , Radiotherapy, Adjuvant/methods , Radiotherapy, Adjuvant/standards , Rectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment/standards , Treatment Outcome
10.
Radiother Oncol ; 153: 296-302, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880593

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to delivering safe and timely care for cancer patients. The oncology community has undertaken substantial workflow adaptations to reduce transmission risk for patients and providers. While various control measureshave been proposed and implemented, little is known about their impact on safety of the radiation oncology workflow and potential for transmission. The objective of this study was to assess potential safety impacts of control measures employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A multi-institutional study was undertaken to assess the risks of pandemic-associated workflow adaptations using failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). Failure modes were identified and scored using FMEA formalism. FMEA scores were used to identify highest-risk aspects of the radiation therapy process. The impact of control measures on overall risk was quantified. Agreement among institutions was evaluated. RESULTS: Thirty three failure modes and 22 control measures were identified. Control measures resulted in risk score reductions for 22 of the failure modes, with the largest reductions from screening of patients and staff, requiring use of masks, and regular cleaning of patient areas. The median risk score for all failure modes was reduced from 280 to 168. There was high institutional agreement for 90.3% of failure modes but only 47% of control measures. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-related risks are similar across oncology practices in this study. While control measures can reducerisk, their use varied. The effectiveness of control measures on risk may guide selection of the highest-impact workflow adaptions to ensure safe care in oncology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Radiation Oncology/methods , Comorbidity , Humans , Pandemics , Risk , Risk Assessment , Risk Management/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Workflow
11.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys ; 108(2): 411-415, 2020 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-747533

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We aimed to assess patients' and physicians' perspectives on wider implementation of telemedicine in radiation oncology practice, disrupted by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: Quantitative questionnaires were prepared and distributed between May 27 and June 11, 2020. A 29-question survey targeting patients with cancer was distributed electronically via cancer support organizations. Cross-sectional data from a selected weekday at a radiation oncology department were also analyzed. In addition, a 25-question survey was distributed to 168 physicians employed by a comprehensive cancer center. RESULTS: In total, we have analyzed 468 patients' and 101 physicians' responses. Among responding patients, 310 were undergoing active treatment and 158 were in follow-up care. Both patients and physicians reported no experiences with video consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but 15% of patients stated that they missed telemedicine services that would include a video call. Overall, 30.6% of patients expressed interest in more frequent usage of telemedicine and 23.3% would start using it. Sixty-seven percent of radiation oncologists expressed interest in more frequent usage of telemedicine, and 14% would use it similarly as in the past. For patients treated with radiation therapy (RT), 59.9% and 63.4% of the responding patients acknowledged that video consultations would be an important addition to medical care during RT course or after the completion of RT, respectively. Comparably, 61.1% and 63.9% of radiation oncologists believed video consultations would be useful or extremely useful for patients undergoing RT or for patients in the follow-up setting, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The post-COVID-19 era represents a unique chance to improve and guarantee continuity of cancer care via telemedicine solutions, when appropriate.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Radiation Oncology/methods , Telemedicine , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physicians/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires
13.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys ; 108(2): 430-434, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739855

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Health systems have increased telemedicine use during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to limit in-person contact. We used time-driven activity-based costing to evaluate the change in resource use associated with transitioning to telemedicine in a radiation oncology department. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Using a patient undergoing 28-fraction treatment as an example, process maps for traditional in-person and telemedicine-based workflows consisting of discrete steps were created. Physicians/physicists/dosimetrists and nurses were assumed to work remotely 3 days and 1 day per week, respectively. Mapping was informed by interviews and surveys of personnel, with cost estimates obtained from the department's financial officer. RESULTS: Transitioning to telemedicine reduced provider costs by $586 compared with traditional workflow: $47 at consultation, $280 during treatment planning, $237 during on-treatment visits, and $22 during the follow-up visit. Overall, cost savings were $347 for space/equipment and $239 for personnel. From an employee perspective, the total amount saved each year by not commuting was $36,718 for physicians (7243 minutes), $19,380 for physicists (7243 minutes), $17,286 for dosimetrists (7210 minutes), and $5599 for nurses (2249 minutes). Patients saved $170 per treatment course. CONCLUSIONS: A modified workflow incorporating telemedicine visits and work-from-home capability conferred savings to a department as well as significant time and costs to health care workers and patients alike.


Subject(s)
Cost-Benefit Analysis , Radiation Oncology/methods , Telemedicine/economics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Radiation Oncology/economics , Time Factors
14.
Gynecol Oncol ; 158(2): 244-253, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-598729

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To develop expert consensus recommendations regarding radiation therapy for gynecologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: An international committee of ten experts in gynecologic radiation oncology convened to provide consensus recommendations for patients with gynecologic malignancies referred for radiation therapy. Treatment priority groups were established. A review of the relevant literature was performed and different clinical scenarios were categorized into three priority groups. For each stage and clinical scenario in cervical, endometrial, vulvar, vaginal and ovarian cancer, specific recommendations regarding dose, technique, and timing were provided by the panel. RESULTS: Expert review and discussion generated consensus recommendations to guide radiation oncologists treating gynecologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority scales for cervical, endometrial, vulvar, vaginal, and ovarian cancers are presented. Both radical and palliative treatments are discussed. Management of COVID-19 positive patients is considered. Hypofractionated radiation therapy should be used when feasible and recommendations regarding radiation dose, timing, and technique have been provided for external beam and brachytherapy treatments. Concurrent chemotherapy may be limited in some countries, and consideration of radiation alone is recommended. CONCLUSIONS: The expert consensus recommendations provide guidance for delivering radiation therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific recommendations have been provided for common clinical scenarios encountered in gynecologic radiation oncology with a focus on strategies to reduce patient and staff exposure to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Genital Neoplasms, Female/radiotherapy , Genital Neoplasms, Female/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Oncology/standards , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Radiother Oncol ; 150: 40-42, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597928

ABSTRACT

ESTRO surveyed European radiation oncology department heads to evaluate the impact of COVID-19. Telemedicine was used in 78% of the departments, and 60% reported a decline in patient volume. Use of protective measures was implemented on a large scale, but shortages of personal protective equipment were present in more than half of the departments.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Radiation Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Europe/epidemiology , Hospital Departments , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Selection , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , Radiation Oncology/methods , Radiation Oncology/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Time-to-Treatment
16.
Radiother Oncol ; 148: 252-257, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436475

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic warrants operational initiatives to minimize transmission, particularly among cancer patients who are thought to be at high-risk. Within our department, a multidisciplinary tracer team prospectively monitored all patients under investigation, tracking their test status, treatment delays, clinical outcomes, employee exposures, and quarantines. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective cohort tested for SARS-COV-2 infection over 35 consecutive days of the early pandemic (03/19/2020-04/22/2020). RESULTS: A total of 121 Radiation Oncology patients underwent RT-PCR testing during this timeframe. Of the 7 (6%) confirmed-positive cases, 6 patients were admitted (4 warranting intensive care), and 2 died from acute respiratory distress syndrome. Radiotherapy was deferred or interrupted for 40 patients awaiting testing. As the median turnaround time for RT-PCR testing decreased from 1.5 (IQR: 1-4) to ≤1-day (P < 0.001), the median treatment delay also decreased from 3.5 (IQR: 1.75-5) to 1 business day (IQR: 1-2) [P < 0.001]. Each patient was an exposure risk to a median of 5 employees (IQR: 3-6.5) through prolonged close contact. During this timeframe, 39 care-team members were quarantined for a median of 3 days (IQR: 2-11), with a peak of 17 employees simultaneously quarantined. Following implementation of a "dual PPE policy," newly quarantined employees decreased from 2.9 to 0.5 per day. CONCLUSION: The severe adverse events noted among these confirmed-positive cases support the notion that cancer patients are vulnerable to COVID-19. Active tracking, rapid diagnosis, and aggressive source control can mitigate the adverse effects on treatment delays, workforce incapacitation, and ideally outcomes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Neoplasms/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Radiation Oncology/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
17.
ESMO Open ; 5(Suppl 3)2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-356313

ABSTRACT

The global preparedness and response to the rapid escalation to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2-related disease (COVID-19) to a pandemic proportion has demanded the formulation of a reliable, useful and evidence-based mechanism for health services prioritisation, to achieve the highest quality standards of care to all patients. The prioritisation of high value cancer interventions must be embedded in the agenda for the pandemic response, ensuring that no inconsistency or discrepancy emerge in the health planning processes.The aim of this work is to organise health interventions for breast cancer management and research in a tiered framework (high, medium, low value), formulating a scheme of prioritisation per clinical cogency and intrinsic value or magnitude of benefit. The public health tools and schemes for priority setting in oncology have been used as models, aspiring to capture clinical urgency, value in healthcare, community goals and fairness, while respecting the principles of benevolence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice.We discuss the priority health interventions across the cancer continuum, giving a perspective on the role and meaning to maintain some services (undeferrable) while temporarily abrogate some others (deferrable). Considerations for implementation and the essential link to pre-existing health services, especially primary healthcare, are addressed, outlining a framework for the development of effective and functional services, such as telemedicine.The discussion covers the theme of health systems strategising, and why oncology care, in particular breast cancer care, should be maintained in parallel to pandemic control measures, providing a pragmatic clinical model within the broader context of public healthcare schemes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Health Priorities , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Public Health , Radiation Oncology/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Oncology/methods , Telemedicine/methods
18.
Indian J Cancer ; 57(2): 221-223, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-350026

ABSTRACT

The practice of radiation oncology requires stringent adherence to specific steps and principles designed to minimize exposure of an individual to unnecessary doses of radiation. The basic principles of such measures to reduce the risk of exposure and limit the doses of irradiation follow the "as low as reasonably achievable " or ALARA principle by using the concepts of time, distance and shielding. Potential exposures in radiation oncology are controlled through combination of optimal design and installation of radiation delivery equipment with well-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs). In the modern era of viral pandemics, similar principles can also be applied toward prevention of viral transmission and protection of populations at risk. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the probability of an individual getting infected is dependent on the viral load that an individual is exposed to in public spaces over a period of time. All prevention and control measures are based on preventing any such exposure to the virus, that can be achieved through limiting space for movement of the virus, using barriers and increasing distance to vulnerable surfaces, and limiting the duration of exposure. Apart from adhering to the laid-down provisions of a lock-down, preventive measures recommended for the general public include maintaining hand-hygiene, social distancing, and using facemasks to break the chain of transmission. Appropriate triage and customization of treatment protocols can help curtail hospital visits and time-spent by cancer patients during pandemic times, thereby reducing their risk of exposure as well as allowing efficient utilization of resources. The outbreak of the contagious COVID-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt healthcare systems globally with its unprecedented challenges. However, despite all the difficulties and hardships, it has also enabled new ways of learning and communication, which are likely to persist even in the post-COVID world.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Radiation Oncology/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Radiation Oncology/standards , Radiation Protection/methods , Radiation Protection/standards , SARS-CoV-2
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL