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COVID-19

Cancer Treatment–Related Outcomes in Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

Researchers have found that certain treatments for cancer may increase the chance of death if they contract COVID-19. These findings from a multicenter study presented by Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, and colleagues at the ESMO Virtual Congress 2020 (LBA71), shed light on ways standard anticancer...

COVID-19

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Care, Provider Well-Being

Delays and cancellation of cancer treatments and other safety measures undertaken to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus have generated a backlog in oncology care and research. The threat of delayed diagnoses looms while oncology professionals face burnout, according to new studies...

COVID-19

Viral Load May Help Predict Mortality Rate in Hospitalized Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

Higher viral loads may be associated with a greater risk of death among patients with cancer—and individuals without cancer—hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a report by Westblade et al in Cancer Cell. Among hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19, those with hematologic malignancies...

Issues in Oncology
Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Cryopreservation May Be Associated With Loss of Quality in Donor Stem Cell Products

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many stem cell transplant centers (including guidance from the National Marrow Donor Program [NMDP]) recommend that stem cell products be frozen for preservation. However, findings from a study by Duncan Purtill, MD, and colleagues in Blood Advances suggest that the...

COVID-19

A Moment to Pause, Reflect, and Act Amid a Pandemic

In this period of time, more than ever before, I feel the dichotomy of being a non-Hispanic White American vs a person of color. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, I rode the subway to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Ralph Lauren Cancer Center clinic in Harlem, where I was often the only White person on...

COVID-19

CDC Data Show Disproportionate COVID-19 Impact in American Indian and Alaska Native Populations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study that specifically examines how COVID-19 is affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), one of the racial and ethnic minority groups at highest risk from the disease. The CDC found that in 23 selected states, the...

COVID-19

Mobilizing to Meet Challenges and Improve Survival for COVID-19–Positive Patients and Health-Care Professionals

Recognizing the COVID-19 crisis “as an opportunity to mobilize the organization to rise in the most difficult challenges” allowed The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, to keep mortality rates low for COVID-19–positive patients with cancer and its employees. So said Peter WT...

COVID-19

Chasing Cancer: Challenges to Providing Appropriate Care in the Age of COVID-19

The global impact of the novel coronavirus cannot be overstated, but its effects on cancer care delivery in the United States have been particularly far-reaching. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in fewer cancer screenings and reduction in the treatment of new cancers. As a result, the National...

COVID-19

How Delays in Screening and Early Cancer Diagnosis Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic May Result in Increased Cancer Mortality

Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading across the United States, federal health officials and cancer societies urged Americans to delay routine cancer screenings and other elective procedures to keep them out of clinics to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus and to...

COVID-19
Hematologic Malignancies

COVID-19 Prevalence and Mortality in Patients With Cancer in the UK

In a UK study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Lee et al in the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (UKCCMP) found an increased prevalence of COVID-19 infection among patients with hematologic malignancies and increased risk of death from COVID-19 in patients with leukemia and those with...

Gynecologic Cancers
COVID-19

Gynecologic Oncologist Describes Practice in the Era of COVID-19

The ASCO Post spoke with Alexander Melamed, MD, MPH, a gynecologic oncologist and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. New York state has had more coronavirus cases ...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Are Patients With Hematologic Cancers More Vulnerable to the Effects of COVID-19?

A new study from the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (UKCCMP) has found that, compared with patients who have other malignancies, patients with blood cancers are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 infection. These results were published by Lee et al in The Lancet Oncology. As...

lung cancer
covid-19

Marina C. Garassino, MD, on COVID-19 and Thoracic Malignancies: TERAVOLT Registry

Marina C. Garassino, MD, of the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, discusses the global registry she and her colleagues created to track and address the 35% higher mortality risk from COVID-19 among patients with lung cancer who are treated with chemotherapy.

Prostate Cancer
COVID-19

Effect of Timing of Radiotherapy Relative to ADT on Overall Survival in Prostate Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Dee et al found that radiotherapy (RT) initiated at up to 6 months after the start of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) was not associated with poorer overall survival vs initiation before ADT in men with prostate cancer. The investigators observed that these...

COVID-19

Austrian Study of SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Patients With Cancer Treated at a Tertiary Care Hospital During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an Austrian study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Berghoff et al found that 0.4% of consecutive patients with cancer treated at Medical University of Vienna tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March 21 and May 4, 2020, after implementation of institutional and governmental...

COVID-19

Chemotherapy and COVID-19 Outcomes in Patients With Cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

In a single-institution study reported in the  Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jee et al found that the receipt of cytotoxic chemotherapy within 35 days of COVID-19 diagnosis in patients with cancer was not associated with increased risk of severe or critical COVID-19. The investigators also...

COVID-19

Managing Cancer in Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is an additional competing risk to factor in when making decisions about anticancer treatment for older adults. It poses a potential barrier to equal and evidence-based management of cancer in this group of patients. Implementing geriatric assessments in routine clinical...

COVID-19

Repurposing Drugs for the Treatment of COVID-19

A vaccine for COVID-19 is currently the Holy Grail, but even if an effective vaccine were developed on a fast-track timetable, it may be effective in only a percentage of people, judging by existing flu vaccines, which show efficacy rates of approximately 45% and vary year by year. Until we have a...

COVID-19

Impact of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors on COVID-19 in Patients With Cancer

In the time of COVID-19, there is much to learn about the intersection of coronavirus and cancer. One area of concern has been whether immunotherapies increase the risk of mortality in patients with cancer who also have COVID-19 infection. “To what extent immune checkpoint inhibition affects...

COVID-19

Reevaluating the Delivery of Palliative Care in the Era of COVID-19

Palliative care services are so crucial to the well-being of patients with cancer that, in 2017, ASCO updated its clinical practice guideline on the integration of palliative care into standard oncology care.1 The updated guideline recommends that all patients with advanced cancer receive dedicated ...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Study Finds Treatment Delays for Patients With Breast Cancer Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The results of an online questionnaire of 609 breast cancer survivors in the United States suggest that nearly half of patients experienced delays in care during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was published by Papautsky et al in the journal Breast Cancer Research and ...

COVID-19

Updated Registry Data Confirm Higher COVID-19–Related Mortality in Patients With Cancer

“The distressing intersection of COVID-19 and cancer requires the use of large registries to acknowledge diversity,” stated Solange Peters, MD, PhD, President of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), in her keynote speech at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual...

covid-19

Gabriella Pravettoni, PhD, on COVID-19 and Cancer: Psychological Effects on Patients and Oncologists

Gabriella Pravettoni, PhD, of the University of Milan, discusses the need for tailored psychological interventions to take care of oncologists, health-care workers, and patients with cancer affected by the coronavirus crisis. The interventions can help minimize burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder.

COVID-19

Study Finds Residents of Low-Income Neighborhoods Have Less Access to ICU Beds Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

A new study published by Kanter et al in Health Affairs sheds light on another reason why the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately affecting individuals of lower socioeconomic status: residents in low-income neighborhoods lack access to intensive care unit (ICU) beds. While the shortage of...

covid-19

Robert A. Winn, MD, on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Robert A. Winn, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Massey Cancer Center, discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is exacerbating disparities in cancer care among racial and ethnic minorities and the medically underserved who are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus (Session VSS06).

COVID-19

NCI Funds Studies of Impact of Telehealth and Telemedicine Capacity for Rural Patients Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center–Jefferson Health (SKCC) a supplemental grant (P30) to study the role of telehealth in delivering cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will evaluate the impact of telehealth on health outcomes, patient...

COVID-19

Improving Communication Skills for Oncology Clinicians During the COVID Pandemic

Living in the era of COVID-19 has heightened fear and anxiety among patients with cancer. On the one hand, they are at higher risk of serious COVID-related illness. On the other hand, delaying cancer-focused treatment raises concerns of disease progression. This pandemic has led to dramatic...

COVID-19

Measuring the Impact of the Plunge in Cancer Screenings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic spiked across the country earlier this year, federal health officials and cancer societies advised people to delay seeking routine cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies, to keep them out of medical centers and away from potential exposure to ...

covid-19

Jessica Y. Islam, PhD, MPH, on COVID-19 Preventive Behaviors Among Cancer Survivors

Jessica Y. Islam, PhD, MPH, of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses findings from the COVID-19 Impact Survey, which showed that cancer survivors are adhering to many of the recommended COVID-19 preventive behaviors, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

covid-19

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, on Bringing Patients With Cancer Back to the Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, talks about a panel she moderated in which speakers discussed the importance of communicating with patients to ease their concerns about cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic, allocating protective gear for the most vulnerable patients, increasing telehealth visits, ensuring rapid access to COVID-19 testing, and altering office space to allow for social distancing (Forum 3).

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Increased Time to Breast Cancer Surgery May Not Impact Overall Survival for Patients With Early-Stage Disease

A new study published by Minami et al in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that longer time from diagnosis to surgical treatment did not lower overall survival in women with early-stage breast cancer. These findings may be reassuring for women with early-stage breast cancer who...

covid-19

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, on AACR Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer Highlights

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the President of AACR, discusses this special conference that focused on emerging data related to COVID-19 and cancer, ways in which the coronavirus pandemic has altered treatment of patients with cancer, and the impact on cancer outcomes and psychosocial disorders.

covid-19

Catherine H. Marshall, MD, MPH, on Promoting Recovery From COVID-19 Infection With Endocrine Therapy

Catherine H. Marshall, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, discusses phase II trial results on bicalutamide, an oral antiandrogen used to treat prostate cancer. Bicalutamide may be helpful in downregulating the TMPRSS2 and ACE proteins needed for the SARS-CoV-2 virus; upregulating estradiol to help resolve acute lung injury; and improving outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection (Symposium 4).

covid-19

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, on the Challenges of Using Telehealth in Cancer Care

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, summarizes a panel she moderated on telehealth, which included discussion of usage in urban vs rural populations, preventing the technology from becoming a new source of disparities in cancer care, and uncertainties about reimbursement policies.

covid-19

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, on Ethics, Cancer, and COVID-19

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, of New York University–Langone Health, discusses the areas in cancer care that need to be improved in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, including a better definition of essential medical services based on the potential to save lives, offer good quality of life, and ease patients’ concerns about coming for treatment (Symposium 7).

COVID-19

Nationwide Trends Show Fewer Patients With Cancer in the United States Seeking Care Since Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research published by London et al in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics found significant decreases nationwide in the number of patients seen for cancer-related care as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed during the first few months of 2020. The most significant decline was seen in encounters related to ...

COVID-19

ESMO Issues Consensus on the Management of Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) interdisciplinary expert consensus paper on how to manage patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic was published by Giuseppe Curigliano, MD, PhD, and colleagues in Annals of Oncology. The guidance encourages medical oncologists worldwide not...

COVID-19

Top Scientists Share Early Research on Intersection of COVID-19 and Cancer Care at AACR Virtual Meeting

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer took place from July 20 to 22, 2020, attracting top scientific minds from around the world to present preliminary research on the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with cancer care. In an...

COVID-19
Breast Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Gastroesophageal Cancer
Lung Cancer

Modeling Study Aims to Estimate the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Deaths in England

In a population-based modeling study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Maringe et al estimated that delays in diagnosis due to the COVID-19 pandemic could result in 3,291 to 3,621 additional deaths from breast, colorectal, esophageal, and lung cancers within 5 years. As stated by the investigators,...

COVID-19

Are Patients With a Longer-Established Diagnosis of Cancer at Higher Risk for More Severe Infection or Death From COVID-19?

According to research published by Russell et al in Frontiers in Oncology, patients with a longer-established diagnosis of cancer are at increased risk for more severe infection with COVID-19, as well as death from the virus. Patients of Asian ethnicity or who were receiving palliative treatment...

COVID-19

Two Cohort Studies Identify Risk Factors for Mortality in Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

Two studies recently reported in The Lancet have identified risk factors for mortality among patients with cancer and COVID-19.1,2 As reported by Lennard Y.W. Lee, DPhil, of the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, and colleagues,1 a UK prospective cohort study...

COVID-19
Solid Tumors
Hematologic Malignancies

In Case You Missed It: Quick Takes on Novel Therapies for Solid and Hematologic Malignancies

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, oncology providers from around the world had to forgo their annual trip to McCormick Place—but the show did go on. We all realized important research can still be presented, clinicians and fellow researchers will still listen, and ASCO presentations will still...

COVID-19

AACR Holds COVID-19 and Cancer Virtual Meeting

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) hosted a virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer earlier this month (July 20–22, 2020). The virtual event, “COVID-19 and Cancer,” featured presentations from leaders in the fight against the pandemic, including three keynote lectures. In an opening ...

COVID-19

The Need for Solid Data During a Global Pandemic

The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 disease on a global scale found the community of clinicians and scientists largely unprepared to face the devastating effects of the pandemic. The stress on health-care systems revealed their weaknesses and brought about associated financial crises. Defining the...

COVID-19

Updated CCC19 Data Offer Insights on Treatment for Patients With Cancer and COVID-19 Infection

Newly released data on treatment outcomes of patients with cancer infected with COVID-19 revealed a racial disparity in access to remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been shown to shorten hospital stays, and increased mortality associated with dexamethasone, a steroid that has had the opposite...

COVID-19

Study Finds Higher Risk for COVID-19 Infection Among Minorities and Patients With Cancer

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native American or Alaska Native and non-Hispanic Black people have the highest rates of hospitalization or death from COVID-19, followed by Hispanics and Latinos. A large population-based study using a smartphone app ...

hematologic malignancies
covid-19

Miguel-Angel Perales, MD, and Syed A. Abutalib, MD, on Bone Marrow Transplants During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Syed A. Abutalib, MD, of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, talks with Miguel-Angel Perales, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, about the challenges and concerns related to transplants for patients with hematologic malignancies who are particularly vulnerable to infection with the coronavirus. Recorded July 13, 2020.

COVID-19

In Keynote Lecture, Anthony Fauci, MD, Explores What We Know About COVID-19 and What’s Being Done to Combat It

Kicking off the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer earlier this week, Anthony Fauci, MD, gave the keynote lecture, “Coronavirus Infections: More Than Just the Common Cold.” As Dr. Fauci told listeners, “[COVID-19]—and other infectious...

COVID-19
Survivorship

Cancer Survivors Are Adhering to COVID-19–Related Preventive Behaviors, but Continuity of Care May Be Impacted

People of any age with serious underlying health conditions are at greater risk for contracting the coronavirus, and cancer survivors are particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with COVID-19, since many cancer therapies can lead to immunosuppression. To reduce exposure to the virus, the...

COVID-19

Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Generates Immune Response, Deemed Safe in Phase I Trial

According to a press release from the National Institutes of Health, an investigational vaccine designed to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19—mRNA-1273—was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralizing antibody activity in healthy adults. These interim results were...

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