Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

AACR COVID-19: Continuity of Care in Lung Cancer

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2020

Antonio Calles, MD, MSc, of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of treatment to patients with lung cancer. The results of this single-center analysis were presented during the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer (Abstract PO-021).

“[The] COVID-19 pandemic significantly modified treatment patterns in patients with lung cancer who were receiving active treatment,” the investigators commented. “Measures were taken to reduce the number of visits to outpatient facilities, and treatment home delivery was facilitated when feasible.”

The treatment records of 242 patients with lung cancer who were receiving chemotherapy (48%), immunotherapy (23%), targeted therapy (21%), chemoimmunotherapy (5%), or radioimmunochemotherapy (2%) were obtained.  Of these patients, 11 were diagnosed with COVID-19 during treatment, and 5 died of virus-related complications.

Treatment delivery dropped by 62.2% just 4 weeks after the first case of COVID-19 infection was confirmed in the institution; after approximately 7 weeks, the rates returned to normal. According to the investigators, 125 patients experienced a treatment interruption or delay. A total of 23 patients refused to continue treatment. Doses were skipped in 21% of patients and reduced in 7% of patients. An increase in dose intervals was reported in 17% of patients.

Use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factors decreased by 57.9% in the overall patient population; however, administration of these agents seemed to increase in patients receiving chemotherapy. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor therapies were initiated or increased in 31 and 7 patients, respectively. To minimize in-person contact, 44% of patients chose to use telemedicine. A total of 22 patients who were receiving targeted therapies opted to initiate a treatment home delivery system. Clinical trial participation did not seem to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in this patient population.

Disclosure: No information regarding conflicts of interest was provided.

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