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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...

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...

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