Cancer guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic - The Lancet Oncology (news)
By: Talha Khan Burki
Describe the impact of COVID-19 on oncological treatment
- COVID-19 greatly impact oncological treatment
- For each patient risks and benefits of continuing or postponing treatment should be considered in MDT’s.
- Elective surgery is suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. In oncology this could lead to tumour progression, obstruction or metastasis.
- ESMO is offering guidance and training for medical oncologists on how to manage patients during the pandemic.
- More telemedical services
- Reduca clinic visits
- Switch to subcutaneous and oral therapies rather than i.v.
- Oncological patients are more prone to infections (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy of the lung, immunosuppressive blood cancer)
- Clinicians should consider for each patient the risks and benefits. On the one hand, a patient might be at high risk of contracting the infection and dying from it; on the other hand, the patient might be at high risk of the cancer progressing or causing death if it is not treated appropriately.
- MDT’s are more important than ever
- Stem cell donors will be less available due to infection of the host and travel restrictions