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Lymphoma
COVID-19

Anti-CD20 Monoclonal Antibodies and Risk of Severe COVID-19 Infection and Death in Patients With Lymphoma

Patients with lymphoma hospitalized for severe COVID-19 infection were at higher risk for prolonged hospital stay and death if they were treated with B-cell–depleting therapies (eg, rituximab, obinutuzumab) within the previous 12 months. The risk of persistent COVID-19 infection was also higher in...

COVID-19

ASCO’s Road to Recovery Report Outlines Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic to Improve Oncology Care

In 2020, ASCO established the Steering Group on Cancer Care Delivery and Research in a Post-Pandemic Environment to evaluate the changes made in oncology care delivery, clinical research, and regulatory oversight in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to make recommendations on how to...

COVID-19

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Third COVID-19 Vaccine

On February 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19. The EUA allows the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the United States for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. The FDA...

COVID-19

The Impact of a Pandemic on Mentorship in Medicine

When advising the younger members of our medical community on career decisions, I always list “access to the best mentorship” as the most important priority. By the time we hit residency, we have all proven ourselves able to extract from a book or a journal the facts essential to the practice of...

COVID-19

COVID-19 and Cancer: A Toxic Combination

COVID-19 has caused 475,000 deaths in America, disproportionately among communities of color, poverty, immigrants, and older age. It has exposed a variety of inequities within our health-care system. However, the patients at greatest risk of death from COVID-19 are those with cancer. While 1.8% of...

COVID-19

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Help Improve Cancer Research

The ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been felt in every area of health care. In our medical specialty, oncology, clinical trials of new treatments were upended by COVID-19. In the early months of the pandemic, widespread interruptions in trial enrollment prevented some patients...

COVID-19

United States Surpasses 500,000 Deaths Due to COVID-19

On February 22, President Joseph R. Biden issued remarks to proclaim that over 500,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 infection. He and Vice President Kamala Harris held a moment of silence and ordered flags be lowered to half-mast at federal buildings for the next 5 days to honor those who...

COVID-19
Survivorship

One-Third of Cancer Survivors Reported Worry About Health-Care Disruptions Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study published by Corinne Leach, MPH, MS, PhD, and colleagues in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology reported that early in the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, one-third of cancer survivors worried about treatment and cancer care disruptions. Using a mixed-methods approach,...

covid-19

Toni K. Choueiri, MD, on the Effects of Cancer Treatments on Patients Infected With COVID-19

Toni K. Choueiri, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the challenges of delivering optimal cancer treatments in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Focusing on systemic therapies, he reviews prognostic factors in people with cancer and COVID-19 (Symposium 9).

COVID-19
Issues in Oncology

Joint ASCO/ACS CAN Letter: States Must Include Patients With Cancer on Their COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Lists

In the midst of growing concerns that patients with cancer have limited access to the COVID-19 vaccines, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, issued a joint letter to every...

Leukemia
Symptom Management
COVID-19

FDA Pipeline: Breakthrough Designations in CML and for Cachexia, EUA for COVID-19

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Breakthrough Therapy designation to asciminib for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML); a Breakthrough Device designation to an assay designed to help select patients with cachexia for treatment with an investigational therapeutic; and an...

Kidney Cancer
COVID-19

Implications of Delaying Surgery for Renal Cell Carcinoma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several elective surgeries for renal cell carcinoma were delayed, with an unknown impact on outcomes for patients. In a retrospective study, researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey explored the impact of surgical delays for these patients...

COVID-19

COVID Virus–Specific T Cells: Potential Treatment of Severe COVID-19 Infection Under Study

It may be possible to exploit T cells from healthy volunteers who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for this viral infection. Researchers at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine have designed an off-the-shelf COVID virus–specific T-cell product (called...

COVID-19

HERO-TOGETHER: Opportunity for Health-Care Workers to Share Their Experience With COVID-19 Vaccination

HERO-TOGETHER is an opportunity for people working in health care who receive a COVID-19 vaccine to help the public understand how people fare after vaccination. The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-generation challenge that health-care providers everywhere have worked together to face. On the...

COVID-19
Survivorship

Mental Health–Related Symptoms Among Cancer Survivors During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

In an analysis from the COVID-19 Impact Survey reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Islam et al found that U.S. adult cancer survivors were more likely to report mental health–related symptoms vs adults without cancer during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Study Details Data for the analysis ...

COVID-19

FDA Update: Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, Statement on Product Development to Address Virus Variants

On February 4, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the scheduling of a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to discuss the request for emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Biotech Inc. Additionally, Acting...

Lymphoma
COVID-19
Immunotherapy

Patients With Lymphoma Receiving B-Cell–Depleting Therapies May Be at Greater Risk for Persistent COVID-19 Infection

B-cell–depleting immunotherapy may cause B-cell aplasia and impair the body’s immune response. A retrospective, multicentric French study of patients with lymphoma and persistent COVID-19 infection has found that those treated with B-cell–depleting therapies within the previous 12 months had nearly ...

COVID-19

Patients on Active Chemotherapy May Not Be at Increased Risk for COVID-19 Infection

Due to concerns that patients with cancer may be at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus—and may have more severe complications if infected—during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and clinical practices have changed protocols to routine cancer care to reduce patients’ exposure to the virus....

Colorectal Cancer
COVID-19
Issues in Oncology

Socially Distant Drive-by FluFIT Clinics May Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Among Black Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Administering colorectal cancer screening kits through a socially distant drive-by flu vaccination clinic increased access to colorectal cancer screening among Black Americans, according to results presented by Washington et al at the AACR Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer (Abstract S02-04)....

Survivorship
COVID-19

Study Finds More Than Half of U.S. Cancer Survivors Have Underlying Medical Conditions Associated With Severe COVID-19 Illness

A recent study has found that more than half (56.4%) of cancer survivors in the United States reported having additional underlying medical conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness. The report, published by Jiang et al in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggested that...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19
Breast Cancer
Lung Cancer
Gynecologic Cancers
Global Cancer Care

Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care Has Been ‘Profound,’ According to WHO

More than a year since the new coronavirus crisis began, its impact on cancer care has been stark, with “50% of governments (having) cancer services partially or completely disrupted because of the pandemic,” said André Ilbawi, MD, of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department of...

COVID-19

Changes in Radiotherapy Use in England During the First Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a population-based study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Spencer et al found that mean weekly radiotherapy courses for cancer and attendance for receipt of fractions declined significantly during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in England. However, use of hypofractionated radiotherapy...

Gastrointestinal Cancer
Genomics/Genetics
Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

ASCO Names Advance of the Year: Molecular Profiling Drives Progress in Gastrointestinal Cancers

Molecular profiling allows clinicians to identify the molecular and genetic signatures that help to deliver treatments that are highly specific to a tumor. This tool has made possible a number of advances in the past year that are improving care for patients with gastrointestinal cancers. In...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

WCLC Press Briefing Focuses on the Connection Between Lung Cancer and COVID-19

On February 27, 2020, the Journal of Thoracic Oncology published a case study that described two patients from Wuhan, China, who had recently underwent lung lobectomies for adenocarcinoma and were retrospectively found to have had COVID-19 at the time of surgery. Eleven months later, the lung...

Lung Cancer
Health-Care Policy
Legislation
COVID-19

‘State of Tobacco Control’ 2021 Report Says Ending Tobacco Use Is Critical, Especially During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tobacco use remains a serious public health threat. In addition to tobacco-related death and disease, smoking also increases the risk of the most severe impacts of COVID-19. The American Lung Association has released its 19th annual “State of Tobacco Control”...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

World Cancer Day 2021 to Focus on Adaptations and Innovations in Cancer Care Through COVID-19 and Beyond

To mark World Cancer Day on February 4, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will give voice to and say thank you to the nurses, doctors, researchers, volunteers, advocates, and other caregivers in oncology from around the world, as well as government agencies, who have worked through...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Single-Institution Study Examines Safety of Routine Thoracic Surgery, Examinations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A study published by Wang et al in JTO Clinical and Research Reports compared surgeries performed at one Chinese hospital in 2019 with a similar date range during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers found that routine thoracic surgery and invasive examinations were performed safely during the...

COVID-19

Patients in Cancer Remission Also at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

Patients with inactive cancer who are not currently undergoing treatment also face a significantly higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to a new study published by Sun et al in JNCI Cancer Spectrum. The findings underscore the importance of COVID-19 mitigation, like social...

Issues in Oncology
Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

ASCO’s New Chief Medical Officer Plans to Tackle the Global Burden of Cancer and Disparities in Access to Care

In November, ASCO announced that Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, will succeed Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Society. Dr. Gralow will begin her new position on February 15, 2021. Dr. Gralow’s long relationship with ASCO dates back to 1995, when...

COVID-19

NCCN Shares New Recommendations for Vaccinating Patients With Cancer Against COVID-19

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) has released new guidance on vaccinating people with cancer against COVID-19. The nonprofit alliance of leading cancer centers created an NCCN COVID-19 Vaccine Committee that includes hematology and oncology experts with particular expertise in...

COVID-19

Single-Institution Study Finds Decrease in Cancer Screenings, Diagnoses During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Researchers have documented a substantial decline in cancer and precancer diagnoses at the Northeast's largest health-care system (Massachusetts General Brigham) during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to a drop in the number of cancer screening tests performed. These findings were...

COVID-19
Integrative Oncology

COVID-19 and Integrative Oncology: Meeting the Global Challenges of Health Equity

Guest Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) held its 2020 international conference in a virtual format. It focused on key issues of health disparities in integrative cancer care, innovative integrative oncology service delivery models, and...

COVID-19
Breast Cancer
Survivorship

Italian Study of Electronic Medical Record–Assisted Telephone Follow-up of Breast Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an Italian single-institution study reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Merz et al evaluated the use of electronic medical record–assisted telephone follow-up (E-TFU) of breast cancer survivors to minimize hospital exposure over a 3-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy was...

COVID-19

COA Submits Letter to Governors, Public Health Officials to Request Independent Oncology Practices Be Given Priority Approval to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

Today, leadership from the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) sent a letter urging the nation's governors and public health officials to prioritize supplying cancer treatment practices with COVID-19 vaccines and allowing the practices to administer the vaccines. The letter, signed by Kashyap Patel,...

COVID-19

FDA Issues Alert Regarding SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutation to Health-Care Providers and Clinical Laboratory Staff

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting clinical laboratory staff and health-care providers that it is monitoring the potential impact of viral mutations, including an emerging variant from the United Kingdom known as the B.1.1.7 variant, on authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests....

COVID-19

Effect of COVID-19 Infection on Cancer Management

In a study reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Wu et al found that almost two-thirds of patients undergoing active cancer management who were diagnosed with COVID-19 over a 4-month period in 2020 had significant delays in planned management.   Study Details The retrospective study involved data on...

Solid Tumors
Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Immune Response to COVID-19 Reduced in Patients With Hematologic Malignancies vs Solid Tumors

Patients with hematologic malignancies varied in their immune response to COVID-19, and some struggled to clear the infection, according to new research published by Abdul-Jawad in Cancer Cell. In contrast, most patients with solid tumors—even those with advanced cancer—were shown to be able to...

COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Patients in Italy Undergoing Active Cancer Treatment

In a retrospective study reported as a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Aschele et al found that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0.68% among a large population of patients receiving anticancer treatment in Italy over an approximately 3.5-month period in 2020. Study Details The study...

COVID-19

FDA Statement on Following the Authorized Dosing Schedules for COVID-19 Vaccines

On January 4, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, and Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Peter Marks, MD, PhD, issued the following statement on FDA-authorized dosing schedules for each COVID-19 vaccine. Two different mRNA...

COVID-19

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Second COVID-19 Vaccine

On December 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the second vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2. The emergency use authorization allows the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the United States for use in...

COVID-19

Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Patients With Cancer: Effect of Time of Diagnosis and Race

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Wang et al found that patients with cancer were at a greater risk of being infected with COVID-19 and having worse outcomes vs patients without cancer. Risk was greatest among patients with a more recent diagnosis and was even further exacerbated among Black...

COVID-19

NIH RADx-rad Grants Support Investigation of Novel COVID-19 Testing and Surveillance Approaches

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded over $107 million to support new, nontraditional approaches and reimagined uses of existing tools to address gaps in COVID-19 testing and surveillance. The program will also develop platforms that can be deployed in future outbreaks of COVID-19...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Lung Cancer Screening

Reporting on how deferred care worsened outcomes for patients with lung cancer when the COVID-19 pandemic first surged in the spring of 2020, Robert M. Van Haren, MD, MSPH, FACS, and colleagues explained that they have identified a framework that could help people with serious health conditions...

COVID-19

Anthony Fauci, MD, Encourages Patients With Cancer to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, sat down with Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and medical advisor to President-Elect Joseph Biden, for a virtual fireside chat about COVID-19 and cancer at...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

ASH Registry: Treasure Trove of Data on COVID-19 and Hematologic Malignancies

The ASH Research Collaborative COVID-19 Registry for Hematology provides up-to-date information on outcomes and the course of illness for a group of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19.1 In general, registry data showed that hematologic malignancies increase the risk of severity of...

COVID-19

Life and Death Under COVID-19

Victoria was a 79-year-old woman living alone in a London suburb. Having no children of her own, she visited us regularly here in the United States. She was one of three sisters and my sister-in-law. I knew her for more than 50 years, and she always reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, both in looks and ...

COVID-19

Changes in Care and Well-Being Among Patients With Cancer During Initial Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a Dutch study reported in JAMA Oncology, van de Poll-Franse et al found that a substantial proportion of patients with cancer had changes in care within 4 to 6 weeks after the first announcement of a COVID-19–related lockdown. Patients with cancer surveyed reported levels of quality of life,...

COVID-19

FDA Authorizes Antigen Test as First Over-the-Counter, Fully At-Home Diagnostic Test for COVID-19

On December 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first over-the-counter, fully at-home diagnostic test for COVID-19. The Ellume COVID-19 Home Test is a rapid, lateral-flow antigen test, a type of test that runs a liquid sample along a...

COVID-19

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine

On December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals aged 16 and older. The EUA allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in the United...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Potential Impact of State Government Crisis Standards-of-Care Guidelines on Resource Allocation for Patients With Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Hantel et al found that among U.S. states with crisis standards-of-care guidelines, 55% deprioritized some patients with cancer in resource allocation and 26% included cancer-related categorical exclusions. As stated by the investigators, “State crisis...

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