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COVID-19

FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents

On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to include adolescents aged 12 through 15. The FDA...

COVID-19

What You Need to Know About Cancer and the Coronavirus

As a three-time breast cancer survivor, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States this past January, I knew I had to do everything I could to avoid getting the virus. A host of lingering side effects from my surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments have left me with cardiovascular...

COVID-19

Surge of Patients With Advanced Cancer Expected Due to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment During Pandemic

Pent up demand for cancer screenings, diagnostic workups, and treatments delayed or curtailed since the start of the pandemic is expected to result in a surge of patients—some with more advanced disease as a result of delays—seeking appointments with oncologists. “We are starting to see the...

COVID-19

Increased Loneliness Among Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic May Affect Symptom Burden

Loneliness and social isolation have been significant problems for the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for patients with cancer, these issues were particularly acute, likely due to isolation and social distancing, according to a recent study published by Miaskowski et al in the ...

COVID-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Cancer Screening Deficits in the United States

In a retrospective cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, and colleagues quantified cancer screening deficits in the United States associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and identified differences in deficits according to region and socioeconomic status. Study Details The...

COVID-19

One vs Two Doses of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients With Cancer: Immunogenicity and Efficacy

In an interim analysis of a prospective observational study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Monin et al found that a single dose of the BNT162b2 Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was poorly immunogenic in patients with cancer, with immunogenicity markedly improving at 2 weeks after a second dose...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

COVID-19 Pandemic Drove Strategic New Breast Cancer Approaches to Avoid Hospitalization

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly altered breast cancer treatment approaches, with a significant rise in neoadjuvant endocrine therapy for estrogen receptor–positive tumors, enabling immediate evidence-based treatment of women with an extremely common form of breast cancer, while delaying surgery and...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Cancer Care in Sudan During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sudan is one of Africa’s largest countries, rich in underutilized natural resources but rife with conflicts and civil wars that have been ongoing since it gained its independence in 1956. These problems have reflected negatively on the health-care system. Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, is a busy...

Leukemia
Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

Recent Studies Explore Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients With Leukemia and Myeloma

Two new studies published in the journal Blood suggest that the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may have reduced efficacy in individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma. According to researchers, these studies could help inform the ideal time for vaccination of these...

COVID-19
Immunotherapy

Short-Term Safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients Receiving Immunotherapy

In an Israeli case-control study reported in a commentary in The Lancet Oncology, Waissengrin et al found that the short-term safety of the Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was similar in patients with cancer receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors compared with healthy controls. Study Details...

COVID-19

Cancer and COVID-19: Reflections at 1 Year

We who live and work in Seattle recently took note of two milestones: the first death of a patient from COVID-19 reported in the United States in Seattle on February 28, 2020, and recognition of 5,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the state of Washington on March 2, 2021. The juxtaposition of these two...

covid-19

Thomas K. Varghese, Jr, MD, on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Care

Thomas K. Varghese, Jr, MD, of Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, summarizes a panel discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted cancer screenings, when telemedicine works and when it doesn’t, opening alternative care sites in the community, and the emotional and mental toll the coronavirus has taken on health-care providers.

COVID-19

ASTRO Survey Explores Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncologists reported that new patients are arriving for treatment with more advanced-stage disease than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey conducted by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) this winter. The national survey of radiation therapy practice...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Delivery of Breast Cancer Care in New York

In a single-institution retrospective study focused on a New York City location reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Satish et al found that more than 40% of patients with breast cancer not infected with COVID-19 had a delay or change in care delivery due to the pandemic. Study Details The study...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Incidence of Brain Metastases in Patients Diagnosed With Stage IV NSCLC During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated that 39% of patients diagnosed with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) presented with de novo brain metastases during the COVID-19 pandemic. This percentage was higher than the historic rate of 25%, and many of these...

Colorectal Cancer
COVID-19

Treating Colorectal Cancer in the Time of COVID-19

The treatment of colorectal cancer has always been something of an art—but never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the spring of 2020, The ASCO Post asked three experts in this malignancy to share their concerns and their approaches to achieving good patient outcomes while minimizing...

COVID-19

ASTRO Recommendation on COVID-19 Vaccination for Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has compiled a selection of resources for radiation oncology professionals. The resources were developed by clinical teams and based on the best available information at the time they were posted. Physicians and their patients must make the...

COVID-19

Evidence-Based Strategy for Improving Access to Colorectal Cancer Screening for Diverse Populations

A novel strategy of combining a drive-by flu vaccination clinic with an opportunity for participants to use a take-home fecal immunochemical test (FIT) increased access to colorectal screening among Black Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results related to access to colorectal cancer...

COVID-19

Hematologic Cancers Increase Risk of COVID-19–Related Death vs Solid Tumors

Patients with cancer are at an increased risk of death due to COVID-19 compared with the general population. And hematologic cancers carry an even greater risk than solid tumors, according to a comprehensive meta-analysis from the Reboot: COVID-Cancer Project presented at the 2021 AACR Virtual...

COVID-19

Rates of Seroconversion Among Patients With Cancer Infected With COVID-19

Most people with cancer who are infected with COVID-19 produce antibodies at a rate comparable to the rest of the population—but their ability to do so depends on the type of malignancy and the treatments they’ve received, according to a new study published by Thakkar et al in Nature Cancer. The...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Time to Treatment Initiation for Breast Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Single-Institution Study

In a single-institution study reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Hawrot et al found that there was no increase in time to treatment initiation after histologic diagnosis in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, they did find...

COVID-19

Factors Associated With Severity of COVID-19 Infection in Patients With Cancer: Data From CCC19

Updated findings from a cohort of patients with cancer infected with COVID-19 included in the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) were published by Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, and colleagues in Annals of Oncology. Authors identified factors associated with a more severe viral infection among...

gynecologic cancers
covid-19

Brian M. Slomovitz, MD, on the Impact of COVID-19 on Gynecologic Cancer Research

Brian M. Slomovitz, MD, of Florida International University, describes how emphasizing diversity and shifting away from clinical trials at universities helped The GOG Foundation, Inc., increase patient accrual by 50% in 2020 (ID # 10215).

Gynecologic Cancers
COVID-19
Immunotherapy

Recent Chemotherapy or Immunotherapy for Gynecologic Cancer Does Not Raise Risk of Death Due to COVID-19

Although some studies show that patients with cancer have a greater risk of health complications from COVID-19, a new study has found that recent chemotherapy or immunotherapy for gynecologic cancer does not raise the risk of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19. The study results were...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

New Survey Reveals Hesitancy Around COVID-19 Vaccination Among Patients With Hematologic Malignancies and Survivors

A survey of more than 6,500 U.S. patients with blood cancer and survivors revealed that only half are very likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, while one in three is either unlikely or unsure about it. The nationwide survey was a collaboration between The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Boston...

COVID-19

Repurposing Available Drugs for COVID-19: An Ongoing Initiative

As of this writing, no drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19, although several have received emergency use authorization and many others are being used off-label during the pandemic. In addition to searching for novel therapies, David...

COVID-19

Study Finds More Than Half of Cancer Survivors Have Underlying Medical Conditions Associated With Developing Severe COVID-19

A new study 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.1 The report, appearing in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that the prevalence of...

COVID-19

Expert Point of View: Ana Maria Lopez, MD

Ana Maria Lopez, MD, Professor and Vice Chair of Medical Oncology and Chief of Cancer Services for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Health New Jersey, commented on Dr. Reid’s presentation. “Dr. Reid presented a report about a robust cancer program that addresses the needs of rural...

COVID-19

Fallout From COVID-19: Decline in Cancer Screening and Increase in Cancer-Related Deaths

Various studies at institutions in the United States and abroad have shown a substantial decline in cancer screening rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that fewer cancers will be detected by screening and when they do manifest, they will be at more advanced stages. Indeed,...

lung cancer
covid-19

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, on Searching for Therapeutic Strategies for Patients With Lung Cancer and COVID-19 Infection

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, invites his colleagues to enroll their patients in a large prospective study, for which he serves as Principal Investigator. The study is searching for solutions for treating patients with lung cancer who also have the coronavirus, because so many experience an aggressive course of infection.

covid-19

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, on Repurposing Cancer Drugs to Treat COVID-19

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, of the University of Pennsylvania, talks about his research efforts to find an already-approved drug that could treat his orphan disease—multicentric Castleman disease—and how that methodology may be applied to the coronavirus and the cytokine storm it can cause (Symposium 5).

Survivorship
COVID-19

Childhood Cancer Survivors and Health-Care Providers Satisfied With Video Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic limited in-person medical checkups last year, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center offered video visits for the first time for long-term follow-up appointments for childhood cancer survivors. Due to the pandemic, virtual visits were adopted...

covid-19

Giuseppe Curigliano, MD, PhD: In the Face of COVID, Continuity in Cancer Care

Giuseppe Curigliano, MD, PhD, of the University of Milan and Istituto Europeo Oncologico, talks about designing public health measures focused on COVID-19 morbidity and mortality for cancer patients, defining treatment and vaccine priorities, and creating a model to assess the impact of control measures (Symposium 6).

covid-19

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, on Highlights of AACR’s COVID-19 and Cancer Meeting

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and President of the American Association for Cancer Research, talks about why the meeting was held, how the coronavirus has affected cancer care and will impact long-term survivorship, as well as health-care disparities and changes to clinical trials.

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...

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