Annals of Oncology: Managing COVID-19 in the oncology clinic and avoiding the distraction effect

Annals of Oncology: Managing COVID-19 in the oncology clinic and avoiding the distraction effect The safety and management of cancer patients in the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is urgent and most cancer clinics need to establish a contingency plan. It is well established that cancer patients are more susceptible to infections because of the immuno-suppressive state caused by both anticancer treatments and surgery. A recent study from Prof He and colleagues shows that the risk of developing severe events in COVID-19 disease is statistically significant higher in patients with cancer, with a hazard ratio of 3.56. A caution in interpreting the data is that the patient numbers are of course small, but the results are not unexpected. The authors suggest that postponing adjuvant chemotherapy or elective surgery for less aggressive cancers should be considered and that the increased risk for personal protection provisions should be emphasized for patients with cancer or cancer survivors. Furthermore, more intensive surveillance or treatment should be considered for those patients with cancer who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is well established that delayed oncologic surgery may lead to disease progressions and result in tumors no longer resectable, leading to worse survival outcomes. The same goes for neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy regimens administered with suboptimal timing. It should be emphasized that we are talking about patients potentially cured by oncologic treatments. Therefore, any delay of these fundamental procedures, either intentional or due to shortage of personnel, should be avoided. The same risk is present for the people who have scheduled screening activities (e.g. screening mammography for the early diagnosis of breast cancer). To Read complete article- Reference- Annals of Oncology Authors- Cortiula Francesco, Aleksandra Pettke, Bartoletti Michele, Puglisi Fabio, Thomas Helleday


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