Browsing: COVID-19 Pandemic

Cancer patients diagnosed more than 24 months ago are more likely to have a severe COVID-19 infection, research has found. Cancer patients of Asian ethnicity or who were receiving palliative treatment for cancer were also at a higher risk of death from COVID-19. The research published today in Frontiers in Oncology by researchers at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, and supported by the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC, UK, examined the relationship between cancer and COVID-19. There are limited studies investigating cancer patients and COVID-19, with small sample sizes that have yet to distinguish between…

Preliminary data from researchers at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, USA, show that immunotherapy doesn’t necessarily worsen complications for patients with both COVID-19 and cancer. This data was presented by Layne Weatherford, PhD, UC postdoctoral fellow, at the American Association for Cancer Research Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer. Weatherford works in the lab of Trisha Wise-Draper, PhD, an associate professor of medicine, Division of Haematology Oncology, at the UC College of Medicine, UC Health oncologist and medical director of the UC Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office. “Many COVID-19 complications result from an overactive immune response, leading to an increased…

Delays to cancer referral through reduced use of the urgent GP referral pathway during the coronavirus pandemic could result in more than a thousand additional deaths in England, a new study reports. New modelling suggests that delays in patients presenting and being referred with suspected cancer by their GP, and resulting bottlenecks in diagnostic services, are likely to have had a significant adverse effect on cancer survival. During lockdown, urgent so-called two-week wait GP referrals in England for suspected cancer have dropped by up to 84% – raising fears that undiagnosed cancers could be progressing from early-stage tumours to advanced,…

Aleem Bharwani, University of Calgary COVID-19 has ignited a worldwide conversation about inequality. The question is whether we just want to talk about inequity or make the changes to produce more fair outcomes. Focusing our efforts on one critical change would reduce disparities in some of the most pressing health issues of our time. That change is pluralism, the active process of inclusion: recognizing, valuing and respecting differences. We can recognize ethnic variability in cancer treatments by diversifying clinical trial recruitment and improve deadly loneliness by including patients in treatment design. Patients do better when differences are embraced rather than…

Nevan Krogan, University of California, San Francisco Most antivirals in use today target parts of an invading virus itself. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – has proven hard to kill. But viruses rely on cellular mechanisms in human cells to help them spread, so it should be possible to change an aspect of a person’s body to prevent that and slow down the virus enough to allow the immune system to fight the invader off. I am a quantitative biologist, and my lab built a map of how the coronavirus uses human cells. We used that map…

The characterisation of COVID-19 in patients with cancer remains limited in published studies and nationwide surveillance analyses. Reports from China and Italy have raised the possibility that patients with cancer on active therapy have a higher risk of COVID-19 related severe events, although there is a knowledge gap as to which aspects of cancer and its treatment increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. A team of researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) reported on the epidemiology of COVID-19 illness experienced at an NCI-designated cancer centre during the height of pandemic in New York City. According to a…

Although the spreading SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus usually causes only mild respiratory symptoms, the COVID-19 disease progresses so severely in around five percent of those affected that acute respiratory distress can occur. “The mortality rate in these cases is high,” says Dr Thomas Wiesmann, who attended the patient along with the intensive care team in the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at Marburg University Hospital, Germany. The patient is a 65-year-old woman without pre-existing conditions who was admitted to the hospital for progressive shortness of breath and fever. Her shortness of breath worsened so rapidly that she had to be intubated…

The Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) has recently conducted a global survey to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on urological care. This is the world’s first survey of its kind and includes a large sample of urology professionals from six continents. Results from over 1,000 participants showed that on average 28% of urology outpatient clinics, 30% of outpatient investigations and procedures, and 31% of urological surgeries had a delay of more than eight weeks. The degree of cut-down of urological services increased with the degree of COVID-19 outbreak. As outpatient procedures…

New data from TERAVOLT, a global consortium that tracks outcomes of people with thoracic cancers affected by COVID-19, offers clues as to why they experienced a high death rate of 33% when the coronavirus swept across Europe. While the majority of those who died were hospitalized, only 9% were admitted to intensive care units, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology. Most died from complications of COVID-19, not the progression of cancer. “Just having a lung cancer diagnosis in and of itself shouldn’t exclude patients from care,” said Leora Horn, MD, MSc, Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram…

An Australian program that avoids hospital admission for some young cancer patients with a fever is helping to ease pressure on the UK health system during the COVID-19 crisis. The AUS-rule system, now published in E Clinical Med, guides doctors when deciding whether patients can be treated and supported at home. Led by experts at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, AUS-rule has already been successfully deployed in several Australian hospitals including the Royal Children’s Hospital. It has also been fast-tracked in some UK hospitals. Children undergoing cancer treatment face an increased risk of febrile…

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