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COVID-19
Palliative Care

Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Place of Death Among Medicaid-Insured and Commercially Insured Patients With Cancer in Washington State

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Panattoni et al found that patients dying from cancer located in Washington State who were insured by Medicaid were more likely to die at home without hospice services during the COVID-19 pandemic than those with commercial insurance. Study...

Breast Cancer
Gynecologic Cancers
Colorectal Cancer
COVID-19

Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Before vs After the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a U.S. cross-sectional study reported in JAMA Oncology, Oakes et al found that as of December 2021, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening rates remained below pre–COVID-19 pandemic levels, despite initial rebounds in some rates. Reduced screening rates were accompanied by reduced...

COVID-19
Immunotherapy

Effect of Baseline Immunosuppression on COVID-19 Severity and Risk of Cytokine Storm in Patients Receiving Immunotherapy for Cancer

In a registry-based retrospective cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Ziad Bakouny, MD, and colleagues in the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19 registry) found that patients receiving cancer immunotherapy who had baseline immunosuppression, but not those without baseline immunosuppression,...

Immunotherapy
COVID-19

Can Patients With Cancer Treated With Immunotherapy Safely Receive mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines?

New research confirmed the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in individuals with cancer who are undergoing immunotherapy, according to a novel study published by Widman et al in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The researchers analyzed the frequency of immune-related...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Effect of Goals-of-Care Program for Inpatients at a Comprehensive Cancer Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by David Hui, MD, MSc, and colleagues, an interdisciplinary goals-of-care program instituted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in response to anticipated COVID-19–related increases in need for intensive care unit (ICU) use resulted ...

COVID-19

Deaths Attributed to Both Cancer and COVID-19 in the United States: March to December 2020

In a research letter published in JAMA Oncology, Xuesong Han, PhD, and colleagues identified the number of deaths attributable to both cancer and COVID-19, with either as an underlying or contributing cause, in the United States from March 1 to December 31, 2020, and analyzed risk factors for these ...

COVID-19

Study Examines Potential Benefits of a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccination for Patients With Cancer

A research team led by Matthias Preusser, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Oncology and Head of the Clinical Division of Oncology at the Medical University of Vienna, had already demonstrated that patients with cancer may benefit from a third vaccination to protect them against COVID-19. A recent...

COVID-19

Antibody Response to Three-Dose COVID-19 mRNA-1273 Vaccination Schedule in Immunocompromised Patients With Hematologic Cancers

In a Dutch prospective observational cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Haggenburg et al found that a third dose of the COVID-19 mRNA-1273 vaccine increased antibody levels in immunocompromised patients with hematologic cancers overall to levels comparable to those observed in healthy controls ...

COVID-19
Survivorship

How Did the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Cancer Survivors?

Recent research published by Xuesong Han, PhD, and colleagues in the journal Cancer indicated that during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of working-aged U.S. adults without health insurance did not change despite increases in unemployment. The prevalence of unhealthy...

COVID-19
Issues in Oncology

Fewer People Tried to Quit Smoking During COVID-19 Pandemic, Study Shows

A new study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS), shows serious smoking cessation activity declined among adults in the United States immediately after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and persisted for more than a year. Declines in attempts to quit smoking were largest among...

Supportive Care
COVID-19

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treatment and Prophylaxis of VTE in Patients With Cancer, Including Those Infected With COVID-19

In an article published in The Lancet Oncology, Farge et al outlined the International Initiative on Thrombosis and Cancer (ITAC) 2022 clinical practice guidelines for the treatment and prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with cancer, including those infected with COVID-19. The...

COVID-19

FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted

On July 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, adjuvanted, for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS–CoV-2 in individuals aged 18 years and older.  “Authorizing an additional COVID-19 vaccine expands the...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Study Reveals Cancer Screening Decreased Worldwide During Height of COVID-19 Pandemic

A study that surveyed cancer screening data included in medical journals worldwide from January 2020 into December 2021 showed significant decreases in the number of screenings for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the study,...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Antibody Response to SARS–CoV-2 Wild-Type Virus and Variants After mRNA Vaccination in Patients With NSCLC

In a single-institution study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Valanparambil et al found that one-quarter of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had poor antibody responses to the SARS–CoV-2 wild-type (WT) strain after mRNA vaccination, and that neutralizing antibody...

COVID-19

Outcomes of the SARS–CoV-2 Omicron Variant Outbreak Among European Patients With Cancer

In an analysis from the retrospective OnCovid registry study reported in The Lancet Oncology, David J. Pinato, PhD, and colleagues detailed outcomes of the SARS­–CoV-2 omicron variant outbreak among European patients with cancer. Study Details The analysis included 3,473 patients with cancer from...

Lung Cancer
Immunotherapy
COVID-19

Study Finds COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe for Patients Treated With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Lung Cancer

Patients with cancer have received priority status to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, but limited data are available regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines for patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors for lung cancer. Now, a new study published by Hibino et al in the Journal of...

COVID-19
Colorectal Cancer
Survivorship
Genomics/Genetics

American Cancer Society Investigators Present Studies on COVID-19 Pandemic, Racial/Ethnic Disparities, and Coverage for Genomic Testing

Investigators at the American Cancer Society presented results of several studies during poster sessions at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting. Summaries of a few of these studies are provided here. COVID-19 and Cancer Mortality According to a new study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society,...

COVID-19

Looking Back at Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Era: Lessons Learned and Disparities Identified

Telemedicine stepped up to the plate when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Oncology providers—and practitioners in all specialties—had to rapidly adapt to a telemedicine format when face-to-face visits were severely limited. This scenario had its benefits for both patients and providers (and...

COVID-19

FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children as Young as 6 Months of Age

On June 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children as young as 6 months of age.  For the Moderna vaccine, the FDA amended the emergency...

covid-19

Jenny S. Guadamuz, PhD, on Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Telemedicine Use Among U.S. Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jenny S. Guadamuz, PhD, of Flatiron Health, discusses the use of telemedicine services in community oncology clinics for patients initiating treatments for 21 common cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black, uninsured, non-urban, and less affluent patients were less likely to use telemedicine services. Although telemedicine may expand access to specialty care, the proliferation of these services may widen cancer care disparities if equitable access to these services is not ensured, according to Dr. Guadamuz (Abstract 6511).

COVID-19

New Report Shows COVID-19 Pandemic Increased Cancer-Related Deaths in the United States

According to a new study led by researchers at the American Cancer Society, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of cancer-related deaths by 3.2% in the United States from 2019 to 2020. Compared to 2019, the monthly cancer-related mortality rate was higher in April 2020, when health-care...

COVID-19

New Interactive Map of Oncology Puts COVID-19, Equity Data Into Perspective

In an effort to highlight cancer care inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASCO has launched the Interactive Map of Oncology, a data visualization tool that allows users to explore geographic distribution of systemic and socioeconomic factors that influence cancer care delivery in the United...

COVID-19

Vaccine Effectiveness Against COVID-19 Breakthrough Infection in Patients With Cancer

In a population-based study based on data from the UK Coronavirus Cancer Evaluation Project (UKCCEP) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Lennard Y.W. Lee, DPhil, and colleagues found that COVID-19 vaccination was effective in preventing breakthrough infection among patients with cancer but less...

COVID-19

Use of Telemedicine for Cancer Care Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic but Varied by Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Other Factors

With the rapid acceleration of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the United States in March 2020, telemedicine visits became more common for cancer care. However, in an evaluation of telemedicine inequities among patients with 21 common cancers, there were distinctly lower levels of telemedicine...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

COVID-19 Restrictions Linked to Delayed Breast Cancer Care at Safety-Net Hospital

Millions of elective surgeries and medical procedures were canceled or postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, research shows that COVID-19 restrictions were also associated with significant delays in breast cancer care.1 Findings of a cohort study, which compared breast cancer care before and...

COVID-19

Mortality and Associated Factors Among Patients With Cancer vs No Cancer Infected With SARS–CoV-2

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in JAMA Network Open, Khoury et al found that SARS­­–CoV-2 infection was associated with a higher risk of mortality among patients with cancer vs those without cancer. Risk vs those with no cancer was increased with younger age, and patients with...

COVID-19

CoVac-1 Vaccination Studied for Prevention of Severe COVID-19 in Immune-Deficient Patients With Cancer

CoVac-1, a multipeptide COVID-19 vaccine candidate, elicited immunogenicity in patients with cancer and disease-related or treatment-related immunoglobulin deficiency in a phase I/II trial reported at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2022.1 These patients are...

Gastroesophageal Cancer
COVID-19

Delays in Surgery for Advanced Esophageal Cancer Result in Significantly Worse Survival

Delays in surgery for esophageal cancer did not appear to have much impact on patients’ relative survival for early-stage cancer compared with patients who had surgery early, but they did reduce the relative survival rate by almost half for patients with more advanced disease, according to an...

COVID-19

Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccination From NCCN Recommends Fifth mRNA Shot (Second Booster Dose) for Immunocompromised People

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has released the latest recommendations from the NCCN Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. The updated recommendations point to two booster vaccine doses for people who are immunocompromised (meaning three...

Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Significantly Increases Immune Responses in Most Patients With Multiple Myeloma

Most immunocompromised people with multiple myeloma benefited from a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines—a promising sign after it was shown that two doses tended to not be sufficient for them. However, some people with multiple myeloma still remained vulnerable and may need a fourth dose or antibody...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Novel COVID-19 Vaccine May Provide Protection for Patients With B-Cell Deficiencies

CoVac-1, a new vaccine against SARS–CoV-2, induced T-cell immune responses in 93% of patients with B-cell deficiencies, including many patients with leukemia and lymphoma, according to results presented by Tandler et al at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2022...

colorectal cancer
covid-19

Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, on Colorectal Cancer Screening in Underserved Populations: COVID, Silver Linings, and Challenges Ahead

Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, provides an overview of the key components of the Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-up through Implementation Science program, challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Although screening and follow-up may reduce the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer, these disparities persist in medically underserved populations (Abstract SY30).

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Pediatric Patients With Cancer in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries Faced a Significantly Higher Mortality Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with pediatric cancer from lower- and middle-income countries faced a higher risk of all-cause mortality than those in high-income countries, according to data presented by Elhadi et al at the American Association for Cancer Research...

COVID-19

Conundrums of SARS–CoV-2 Infection in Cancer Care

The ASCO Post is pleased to present the Hematology Expert Review, an occasional feature that quizzes readers on issues in hematology. In this installment, Drs. Abutalib, Kröger, and Mikulska focus on the challenges of providing cancer care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here they present two...

COVID-19
Hematologic Malignancies

Research Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Most Patients With Cancer, but Risk Remains Higher for Patients With Blood Cancers

Using the nation’s largest COVID-19 data resource, a research team found that the COVID-19 vaccine offered protection for most patients with cancer. However, patients with certain types of cancer—especially those with hematologic malignancies—had a higher and widely varied risk of breakthrough...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Study Finds COVID-19 Restrictions Delayed Breast Cancer Care at a Safety-Net Hospital

The 1-year local COVID-19 restrictions negatively impacted breast cancer stage at presentation, time to treatment, and time to surgery at an urban safety-net hospital, increasing the vulnerability of an already high-risk population. These findings were from a recent study presented by Kapp et al at ...

COVID-19

Protecting the Immunocompromised From COVID-19: Practical Information for Physicians

COVID-19 may have caught the world off guard in 2020, but in the 2 years since the pandemic began, several effective monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs have emerged to protect the most vulnerable patients. The ASCO Post spoke with Gunjan L. Shah, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Memorial...

COVID-19

Study Finds Black Patients With Cancer Diagnosed With COVID-19 Have Worse Outcomes Than White Patients

Black patients with cancer experienced significantly worse outcomes after a COVID-19 diagnosis than non-Hispanic White patients, according to findings published by Fu et al in JAMA Network Open. Investigators from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) studied the electronic health records of...

Lymphoma
COVID-19

Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose May Improve Immune Response in Patients With Lymphoma

New research has found that the weakened immune systems of patients with lymphoma may improve after they receive a third COVID-19 vaccination. Patients with lymphoma have defects in their immune system that restrict its response to vaccination; despite this, a study published by Lim et al in Nature ...

COVID-19

Antibody Response to SARS–CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Vaccination in Patients With Cancer: Single-Institution Study

In a single-institution study reported in JAMA Oncology, Giuliano et al found that seroconversion after two doses of the SARS–CoV-2 mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine in patients with cancer was lower among patients with hematologic malignancies vs solid tumors and differed according to cancer treatment...

COVID-19

New Research Measures Decrease in Cancer Detection Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research published in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examined data from the Ontario Cancer Registry from September 25, 2016, through September 26, 2020, to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of new cancer cases detected. The researchers found...

kidney cancer
bladder cancer
prostate cancer
genomics/genetics
immunotherapy
covid-19

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, on Advances in Genitourinary Cancer Treatment: Expert Perspective

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses some key research developments in kidney cancer, including data on nivolumab and ipilimumab with or without CBM588 in metastatic renal cell carcinoma; intestinal microbiome associated with the development of grade 3 or 4 adverse events in patients with metastatic disease who have been treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and probiotic support; the link between TERT promoter mutations and clinical outcome with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for advanced urothelial cancer; mutations in the androgen receptor gene in patients with prostate cancer receiving novel androgen deprivation treatments; and findings on waning antibody titers in patients who have received COVID-19 vaccinations (Roundup of Abstracts 371, 561, 374, Posters 38 and 48).

COVID-19

Report on COVID-19 Outlines the Pandemic’s Negative Impact on Patient Care and Clinical Research—and the Lessons Learned

Patients with cancer are not only at an increased risk for developing severe COVID-19, but also face cancer treatment delays and interruptions due to the pandemic, potentially worsening cancer outcomes, according to the AACR Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care. In...

COVID-19
Survivorship

Risk of COVID-19 Infection and Complications Among Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers

In a Canadian population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gupta et al found that survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers were not at a greater risk of COVID-19 infection or severe complications of infection compared with matched controls without cancer....

COVID-19

Older Patients With Cancer and High-Risk Geriatric Profiles at Greater Risk for Death and Other Adverse Sequelae of COVID-19

In a large study of 5,671 older adults with COVID-19 and cancer, performed by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), the CCC19 geriatric risk index was associated with poorer outcomes, including clinical complications, hospitalization, and mortality. A higher CCC19 geriatric risk index was...

COVID-19

T-Cell Responses May Help Predict Protection Against SARS–CoV-2 Infection in Individuals With and Without Cancer

T-cell responses directed against the receptor-binding domain of the SARS–CoV-2 spike protein were associated with protection from SARS–CoV-2 infection in vaccinated individuals with or without cancer, with lower T-cell responses observed in patients with blood cancers, according to results from a...

COVID-19

Communication Is Key to Overcoming Resistance to COVID-19 Vaccination

The three most common reasons patients with cancer surveyed at an outpatient infusion therapy clinic gave for not having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine were: My doctor has not told me to get the vaccine. I do not think it is safe for me because I have cancer. I’m afraid of the side ...

COVID-19

Why Some Patients With Cancer Are Reluctant to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination: Survey Shows Need to Improve Patient-Physician Communication

“My doctor has not told me to get the vaccine.” That was the number one reason patients with cancer gave in a survey at an outpatient infusion therapy clinic for not having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Rivalling that reason were concerns about safety and fear of vaccine side...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Aggressive Supportive Treatment for COVID-19 May Be Needed in Patients With Hematologic Cancers

New research underscores the need for aggressive support of patients hospitalized with blood cancer and COVID-19, according to data presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition. Two studies of one of the largest data sets of patients with blood cancer...

COVID-19

Are Patients Undergoing Active Cancer Treatment More Likely to Believe COVID-19 Misinformation?

Patients with cancer undergoing active treatment were more likely to believe misinformation related to COVID-19 than those without a history of cancer, according to a new study published by Guidry et al in Patient Education and Counseling. “These findings help us better understand the threat of...

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