Browsing: COVID-19 Pandemic

For cancer patients receiving radiation treatment during a surge in COVID-19 cases, adhering to the stay-at-home orders of quarantine is not always an option. The daily hospital trips potentially increase exposure, which is especially dangerous because cancer patients are at high risk for COVID-19 mortality. The option to delay radiation therapy until COVID-19 cases flatten could help cancer patients minimise exposure to the virus by staying home. A study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that for men with unfavourable intermediate-risk or high-risk localised prostate cancer, who are receiving radiation and hormone therapy, delaying radiation while remaining on…

A new breast cancer study brings reassuring findings for women with early-stage breast cancer who were forced to delay their cancer operations because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A longer time from diagnosis to surgical treatment does not lower overall survival of women with early-stage breast cancer who underwent delayed operations before the pandemic, according to the study results, which are published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print. The researchers also found no survival decrease with operative delays in women with oestrogen-sensitive, early-stage breast cancer who received neoadjuvant endocrine therapy (NET). NET…

COVID-19 has now made us two Australias. There’s Victoria – most specifically Melbourne – and then there’s the rest of the country. Melbourne’s extraordinary lockdown complete with curfew is an act of desperation by Daniel Andrews’ government, as it fights a daily tally of several hundred new cases. Scott Morrison will remember when he berated the media for using the term “lockdown”. Now he finds himself using it all the time. Melbourne has become a city where citizens are supervised by police and soldiers. Its economy will be crushed. Regional Victoria’s lockdown is somewhat milder but it will take a…

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has upgraded the strength of its recommendation against the use of the widely-debated drug, hydroxychloroquine. The Taskforce is comprised of 29 peak health professional bodies whose members are caring for people with COVID-19. The strong recommendation is as follows: Do not use hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. This recommendation applies to adults, children and adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, older people living with frailty and those receiving palliative care. Use of hydroxychloroquine may still be considered in the context of randomised trials with appropriate ethical approval, such as combination therapies that include hydroxychloroquine.…

Welcome to The C Word – a special edition of The Oncology Journal Club focused entirely on COVID-19, with Special Guest Professor Raina MacIntyre. As regular listeners will know, our hosts Eva Segelov, Craig Underhill and Hans Prenen have resisted an episode on COVID-19 because like the rest of Australia, they hoped we had escaped the worse of the pandemic. However in the last couple of weeks the situation has become much more difficult in Victoria, and dire in some places, particularly in nursing homes. We felt it was time for a special episode to bring you up to date…

An ESMO interdisciplinary expert consensus paper on how to manage cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has been published in Annals of Oncology, encouraging medical oncologists worldwide not to discontinue or delay any type of anti-cancer treatment that may potentially impact on overall survival. The experts also urge to stop labelling all cancer patients as vulnerable to coronavirus infection since this may lead to inappropriate care and potential negative outcomes. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus in humans (SARS-CoV-2) for which there is no proven therapy yet. Since its outbreak in December 2019, over…

Women receiving standard treatment in New York City for ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers are not at increased risk of being hospitalised for or dying from COVID-19 due to their cancer, a new study shows. The researchers found that neither having cancer nor receiving treatment for it, which can come with its own toxicities, worsened COVID-19 disease outcomes. Led by researchers at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study showed that 121 women, ages 51 to 63, who were receiving standard treatments for such malignancies and who contracted the pandemic coronavirus had similar rates…

Research from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC), USA, found significant decreases nationwide in the number of patients being seen for cancer-related care as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed during the few first months of 2020. The most significant decline was seen in encounters related to new cancer incidences, which included screening, initial diagnosis, second opinion, and treatment initiation appointments. Anecdotal reports and physician surveys have suggested dramatic declines; however, this study, which was published in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, is the largest to date to measure the effects of the pandemic on normal cancer care activities. “While it…

Today’s jam-packed episode includes an in-depth review of five key papers – an eclectic mix covering employment outcomes, extrachromosomal DNA, COVID-19 and RAF Inhibitors. We also have Quick Bites on medicinal cannabis and a quirky paper that concluded Japanese men with esophageal cancer had better outcomes if they have wives. We also have a special segment on Regional and Rural Practice with Craig Underhill with a surprise appearance by his esteemed colleagues Sabe Sabesan and Rob Zielinski. With top quality banter, papers you won’t hear of anywhere else and expert analysis from our Hosts, you are in for another great…

World Head and Neck Cancer Day a timely reminder that cancer doesn’t stop during COVID-19 Leading head and neck surgeons and radiation oncologists from GenesisCare and St Vincent’s Hospital are urging Victorians not to ignore early signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer Warning comes amidst a drop in cancer screening and treatment referrals during COVID-19 Head and neck cancers associated with HPV infection are on the rise July 27 marks World Head and Neck Cancer Day which aims to raise awareness of head and neck cancers and highlight the steps Australians can take to reduce their risk Doctors…

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