Browsing: COVID-19 Pandemic

Lung cancer patients are at heightened risk for COVID-19 and the reported high mortality rate among lung cancer patients with COVID-19 has given pause to oncologists who are faced with patients with not one, but two severe, life-threatening diseases. To help oncologists address the many challenges COVID-19-positive lung cancer patients present, a team of global lung cancer specialists this week published a review of lung cancer treatments for patients with COVID-19 in the current issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). “The purpose of this manuscript is…

Delays to cancer surgery and other treatment caused by the Covid-19 crisis could result in thousands of additional deaths linked to the pandemic in England, UK, a major new study reports. New modelling has revealed the extent of the impact that disruption to the cancer care and diagnosis pathway could have on the survival of cancer patients. Many cancer patients may end up experiencing delays of several months to their cancer treatment in the context of the pandemic – including in operations to remove tumours. Those patients whose cancer will have progressed during the delay and who might otherwise have…

Despite facing challenges such as limited access to personal protective equipment (PPE) following the COVID-19 outbreak, radiation oncology clinics quickly implemented safety and process enhancements that allowed them to continue caring for cancer patients, according to a new US survey from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). All 222 physician leaders in the survey, which was in the field April 16-30, said their practices continued to provide radiation therapy services during the early weeks of the pandemic, yet 85% also reported declines in the number of patients seen, by an average of one-third. Once the COVID-19 threat was apparent,…

A new study will look at how patients, who receive stem cell transplants for blood cancers and blood disorders, react to COVID-19 infection during their recovery. Announced by IMPACT, a partnership of organisations committed to improving the survival rates of stem cell transplant patients by increasing the number of clinical trials across the UK, the study will: Characterise the immune response of stem cell transplant patients to severe COVID-19 infection and the possible impact of ongoing immunosuppressive treatments. Identify measurable biomarkers from blood samples that can be used to predict patient survival and identify those at the biggest risk. Determine…

By Dr Ursula Sansom-Daly and A/Prof Caroline Ford The societal lock-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered much discussion around gender equity in workplaces, with many parents now finding themselves juggling working from home with looking after young children and/or attempting to become a home-school teacher, principal and school counsellor all rolled into one. As has been noted elsewhere,[1,2] these new dynamics may serve to democratise home workloads between partners or may instead further exacerbate unequal sharing of duties. There is little doubt that for many women in STEMM, who already encounter systems with ingrained bias against them, this…

QIMR Berghofer scientists are urging Queenslanders who have recovered from COVID-19 to help them discover how the human immune system fights the disease – and hopefully develop immunotherapies to treat very sick patients. There have been 1052 confirmed cases in Queensland with six deaths – but 1028 people have recovered to date. The researchers are calling on 50 adults from southeast Queensland, who tested positive to the virus and have subsequently recovered and been released from quarantine, to take part. Volunteers will need to visit one of 11 participating pathology laboratories in Brisbane, Ipswich or on the Gold Coast to…

Most African countries including Ethiopia have recently adopted public health measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic similar to developed countries. Confirmed COVID-19 cases are gradually increasing in Ethiopia with expected high impact due to the precarious economic situation. As part of the mitigation strategy for COVID-19, various health services are scheduled for an indefinite time. Cancer prevention measure are not part of the current guideline recommendations (1). Awareness creation, screening, early detection, diagnosis and treatment are key community level interventions for cancer control in Ethiopia. Postponement of cancer prevention activities during COVID-19 pandemic could also have an unprecedented impact as…

Researchers from MSK Kids at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), USA, found that children with cancer are not at a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19. This new research led by Andrew Kung, MD, PhD, Chair of MSK Kids and his colleagues was published in JAMA Oncology. MSK Kids is one of the largest paediatric cancer programs in the United States with a patient population that includes children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and a small proportion with non-oncological diseases such as bone marrow failure and immunodeficiencies. Paediatric cancer patients are no more vulnerable than other children to…

A study of 4532 men in the Veneto region of Italy has found that those who were being treated for prostate cancer with androgen-deprivation therapies (ADT) were less likely to develop the coronavirus COVID-19 and, if they were infected, the disease was less severe. The authors of the study, published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, say their findings suggest ADT appears to protect men from COVID-19 infection. The researchers, led by Professor Andrea Alimonti, from the Università della Svizzera Italiana (Bellinzona, Switzerland), found that out 4532 men infected with COVID-19, 9.5% (430) had cancer and 2.6% (118) had…

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, has broadly welcomed the approval of targeted hormone therapies enzalutamide and abiraterone as first-line NHS treatments for men with advanced prostate cancer. Its experts said newly published interim guidance by NHS England was an example of how modern treatments that can be taken at home could relieve pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. But The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) was also critical of NHS England for taking so long over its recommendation, and for limiting use of abiraterone only to patients who could not take enzalutamide. Standard treatment for men…

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