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COVID-19

Rates of Newly Diagnosed Cancer Among U.S. Patients During the First Full Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a study of Quest Diagnostics data reported as a research letter in JAMA Network Open, Kaufman et al found significant decreases in monthly new cancer diagnoses during the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the prepandemic period. As stated by the investigators, “We previously ...

COVID-19

Teleoncology for Veterans With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a single-center study reported in JCO Oncology Practice, Jiang et al found an overall high level of satisfaction with teleoncology care during the COVID-19 pandemic among veterans with cancer in the United States, although a preference for in-person visits was commonly expressed. Teleoncology...

Palliative Care
COVID-19

How COVID-19 Is Spotlighting the Role of Palliative Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the tragedy of patients dying in isolation, separated from family and friends to limit infection in hospital settings. The process has altered the experience of serious illness for patients and their loved ones, including their ability to grieve, share important...

COVID-19
Global Cancer Care

Effects of COVID-19 Infection in Children and Adolescents With Cancer: Global Analysis

In a Global Registry of COVID-19 in Childhood Cancer cohort study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Mukkada et al found that approximately one-fifth of children with cancer infected with COVID-19 worldwide had severe illness, with an associated mortality rate exceeding that reported in the general...

Leukemia
Lymphoma
COVID-19

Study Explores Relationship Between Anti-CD20 Therapy and Reduced Responses to mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

Patients with lymphoma or other lymphoid cancers should continue to take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19 even if they have been vaccinated against the disease, a new study by Jennifer Crombie, MD, and colleagues published in Blood Advances suggests. The study found that patients who had...

COVID-19

Update to NCCN: Cancer and COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance Announced

Today, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced significant updates to the NCCN: Cancer and COVID-19 Vaccination guidance. This is the fourth version of NCCN’s COVID-19 vaccination guide and incorporates the latest data plus recent approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Study Finds Drop in Breast Cancer Screening Rates in Low-Income Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, breast cancer screening rates declined among women aged 50 to 74 years at 32 community health centers that serve lower-income populations in the United States. The report, published by Stacey A. Fedewa, PhD, and colleagues in the journal Cancer,...

COVID-19

ASCO Joins Statement Supporting Mandatory Health Employer COVID-19 Vaccination

With COVID-19 case counts rising amid the spread of the Delta variant, ASCO has joined more than 50 health-care professional societies and organizations that represent millions of workers throughout health and long-term care in calling for all health-care employers to require their employees to be...

COVID-19

FDA Grants Approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals aged 16 years and older. The vaccine also...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Seroconversion After COVID-19 Vaccination in Adult Patients With Hematologic Malignancies

In a single-institution retrospective study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Ollila et al found a low rate of seroconversion after COVID-19 vaccination among adult patients with hematologic malignancies. Study Details The study included 160 patients at Rhode Island Hospital receiving ...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Study Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe in Patients With Hematologic Malignancies, but 25% of These Patients Do Not Produce Detectable Antibodies

About one in four patients with blood cancer fail to produce detectable antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination, but results vary substantially by type of blood cancer, according to a study by Greenberger et al published in the journal Cancer Cell. Although earlier studies have shown that certain...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Lung Cancer Screening Rates Improved in 19 States Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new population-based study showed that although national lung cancer screening rates decreased in some states, 19 states actually experienced significant improvements in screening rates despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall lung cancer screening rates remained low and unchanged, according to...

COVID-19

Breakthrough COVID-19 Infection in Fully Vaccinated Health-Care Workers

In an Israeli single-institution prospective cohort study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Bergwerk et al identified breakthrough COVID-19 infections among 39 of 1,497 health-care workers fully vaccinated with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine. As stated by the investigators:...

COVID-19

Study Shows Cancer Trials Adapted Rapidly During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cancer clinical trial research rapidly adapted to the circumstances of enrolling and treating patients in clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to findings from a study of enrollment during 2020 and early 2021 published by Joseph M. Unger, PhD, and colleagues in JAMA Network ...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Incidence of Axillary Adenopathy in Screening or Diagnostic Mammography After COVID-19 Vaccination

In a single-center retrospective study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Robinson et al found a vaccine-related axillary adenopathy incidence rate of 3% among women undergoing screening or diagnostic mammography within 90 days of receipt of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine....

Prostate Cancer
COVID-19

Prostate Cancer Surgery Rates in Black vs White Men With Nonmetastatic Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a retrospective cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Bernstein et al found that prostatectomy rates during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were dramatically lower among Black men vs White men with previously untreated nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Study Details The study involved...

COVID-19

ASCO/Friends of Cancer Research Joint Position Statement Encourages Enrollment of Patients With Cancer in COVID-19 Vaccine Studies

Individuals with cancer or a history of cancer should be eligible for clinical trials—including COVID-19 vaccine trials—unless there is safety justification for exclusion, ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) asserted in a recently released joint position statement. To date, clinical...

COVID-19

Lessons From the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Can Lead to Improvements in Cancer Care

The COVID-19 pandemic may have put the world on pause, but it also showed the medical community that rapid progress is possible with focus and collaboration. During the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, “Defining the ‘New Normal’ 2021 and the State of...

COVID-19

Expert Point of View: Clifford Goodman, PhD

Moderator of the session at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, Clifford Goodman, PhD, Senior Vice President at The Lewin Group, said he was struck by the diverse impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on cancer care. One area that remained relatively...

COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Treatment and Early Detection: Data-Driven Insights

From a dramatic drop in caseloads to missed screenings and diagnoses as well as the emergence of telemedicine, COVID-19 turned the world of oncology upside down. During the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, “Defining the ‘New Normal’ 2021 and the State of...

COVID-19

Study Finds the COVID-19 Pandemic Created Significant Disruptions in Cancer Screenings at Federally Qualified Health Centers

A new study has found that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to significant disruptions in breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screenings at federally qualified health systems spanning 15 states across the United States. The postponed screenings have created backlogs that systems will need to...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Initial Pandemic-Related Disruptions in Breast Cancer Care May Result in Increased Mortality Over the Next Decade

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, elective medical procedures, including screenings for breast cancer, were curtailed to prioritize urgent medical needs and reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in health-care settings. A study showed that, as of May 2020, preventive...

COVID-19

Majority of Patients With Cancer Achieve Immune Response After COVID-19 Vaccination

In a U.S. and Swiss study, nearly all patients with cancer developed an immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines 3 to 4 weeks after receiving their second dose. However, a small group of the patients exhibited no response, raising questions about how their protection against the virus will be...

multiple myeloma
covid-19

Paul G. Richardson, MD, on Multiple Myeloma and COVID-19: An Update

Paul G. Richardson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses challenges patients with multiple myeloma have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the research he and his international colleagues are conducting to better understand these difficulties and improve patient care.

Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

Study Finds Response to COVID-19 Vaccination Varies Widely in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

Patients with multiple myeloma had a wide variety of responses to COVID-19 vaccines—in some cases, no detectable response at all—pointing to the need for antibody testing and precautions for these patients after vaccination, according to a study published by Van Oekelen et al in Cancer Cell. Mount...

COVID-19

Study Suggests Substantial Delays in Diagnosis and Treatment for Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study has found evidence of the adverse effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on cancer detection and surgical treatments. The study, published by Robin Yabroff, PhD, MBA, and colleagues in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found a 10.2% decline in real-time electronic pathology ...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Harnessing a Worldwide Effort to Combat COVID-19 and Cancer

This past October, in a virtually held ceremony of the General Assembly of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Anil K. D’Cruz, MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCS (Hon), Director of Oncology at Apollo Hospitals in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, India, began his 2-year tenure as President of the global...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Convalescent Plasma Therapy for Patients With Hematologic Cancers Hospitalized for COVID-19

In a retrospective cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, FASCO, and colleagues found that the use of convalescent plasma therapy was associated with improved 30-day mortality among patients with hematologic cancers hospitalized for COVID-19. Study Details The study...

COVID-19

ASCO/Friends of Cancer Research Joint Position Statement Encourages Enrollment of Patients With Cancer in COVID-19 Vaccine Studies

Individuals with cancer or a history of cancer should be eligible for clinical trials—including COVID-19 vaccine trials—unless there is safety justification for exclusion, ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) asserted in a joint position statement released today. To date, clinical trials...

COVID-19

All-Cause Mortality in COVID-19–Positive and COVID-19–Negative Patients With Cancer

In a large cohort study reported by Sharafeldin et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) found that COVID-19–positive vs –negative status was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality at 1 year among patients with...

COVID-19
Global Cancer Care

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Delivery of Oncology Services in India

In a study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Ranganathan et al quantified the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on delivery of cancer services in India. Study Details The study involved data from 41 cancer centers across the nation. The delivery of oncology services between March 1 and May...

COVID-19

Navigating the Post-Vaccine Pandemic

By now, most health-care workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.* Physical immunity would appear to last for at least 6 months and probably longer. The physical pandemic for most oncologists is declining, with an end in sight. We are protected from the serious physical consequences of...

COVID-19
Issues in Oncology
Lung Cancer
Hepatobiliary Cancer

Selected Poster Presentations From the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference

Although once again, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 2021 Annual Conference could not take place on site in Orlando, researchers presented their work virtually in the form of almost 100 posters. The ASCO Post has summarized some that we found particularly interesting. Many...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Global Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic–Related Disruptions in Cancer Care

COVID-19 pandemic–related disruptions in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and research have varied worldwide and so have the responses to those disruptions. During the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) 2021 International Conference on Surgical Cancer Care, members of the Global Forum of Cancer...

COVID-19

Remote Monitoring Program Reduced Hospitalization Among Patients With Cancer Infected With COVID-19

A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center found that patients with cancer diagnosed with COVID-19 who received care at home via remote patient monitoring were significantly less likely to require hospitalization for their illness, compared to patients with cancer infected with the virus...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Study Examines Relationship Between Risk of COVID-19 Infection and Breast Cancer Treatment

In a study led by researchers at NYU Langone Health and its Perlmutter Cancer Center involving more than 3,000 women treated for breast cancer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, only 64 patients, or 2% of the total study population, contracted the virus. Of this group, 10 died ...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Organizations Issue Statement Encouraging Return to HPV Vaccination

Doctors and scientists across America at National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers and other organizations recently issued a joint statement urging the nation’s health-care systems, physicians, parents, children, and young adults to get human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination back on ...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Association of Community Cancer Centers Releases Report: Trending Now in Cancer Care 2020

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) released Trending Now in Cancer Care 2020, an annual report that identifies current and emerging trends in cancer programs across the country. The detailed report presents findings from focus groups that illuminate the short- and long-term impact...

COVID-19

A Seasoned Journalist Seeking Answers Reports From the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a global health issue, putting unprecedented stress on health-care systems, with important implications for cancer care. Although at this stage the data are fairly limited, we know that patients with cancer are far more vulnerable to worse outcomes, including a greater ...

COVID-19

Coagulopathy and COVID-19 Infection

“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.” —Hippocrates To complement The ASCO Post’s continued comprehensive coverage of the 2020 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, here are several abstracts selected from the...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19
Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

Celebrating 50 Years of Cancer Progress: The International View

Although the National Cancer Act of 1971 has resulted in tremendous advances in cancer research, which have led to sharp declines in cancer mortality in the United States—from 1991 to 2018, there has been a 31% decrease in overall cancer death rates—and more than 17 million cancer survivors,1 much...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Inequities in Breast Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Breast cancer screening took a sizeable hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research  showing that the number of screening mammograms completed in a large group of women living in Washington state plummeted by nearly half. Published by Amram et al in JAMA Network Open, the study...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

ASCO’s President-Elect Focuses on Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation

Internationally renowned for his pioneering research in combining high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer to improve patient survival, ASCO’s President-Elect Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, is dedicating his tenure as President to...

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...

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