COVID-19 and Lung Cancer: Proactive Measures for Screening Patients
Posted: Friday, August 7, 2020
According to research published in Frontiers in Oncology, multilevel containment measures, including thorough education and comprehensive evaluation of patients with lung cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, are critical to mitigating patient and environmental risk. The study, conducted by Filipino de Marinis, MD, PhD, of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, and colleagues, reports the outcomes of four guidelines implemented for patients with lung cancer admitted to the Institute.
“These data from our Institute suggest that a resources prioritization is mandatory, confirming that proactive and multilevel management is essential to date in clinical practice to minimize the COVID-19 spread in the hospital setting, preventing patients and stakeholders from the [potentially] contagious,” concluded the investigators.
A records review was conducted for 325 patients scheduled to visit the Institute between March 2 and April 3, 2020. Of those patients, 118 were scheduled to receive intravenous cancer treatment, 112 were scheduled to receive oral cancer treatment, 49 were participating in clinical trials, 16 were reporting for follow-up visits, and 30 were planned for first-access visits. Prior to their visit, all patients received a triage phone call, resulting in 149 patients receiving a recommendation to delay or cancel their appointments. A total of 142 patients did cancel their visits. Among patients scheduled for intravenous treatment, 62 were recommended to delay it. For 71 of the patients scheduled to receive oral therapy, treatment was shipped or delivered instead.
Visits were cancelled for half of the patients scheduled for follow-up. Overall, 148 patients underwent scheduled CT, 12 of whom were found to have ground-glass opacities. A total of six patients were suspected to have COVID-19, and five tested positive for the infection. Overall, the positivity rate of swab tests among participants was 66.7%. Among those testing positive, 33.3% required hospitalization, and 16.7% required supplemental oxygen. No deaths occurred.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.