Radical cancer treatment is safe during COVID-19: the real-world experience of a large London-based Comprehensive Cancer Centre during the first wave

Beth Russell, Charlotte Moss*, Maria Monroy-Iglesias, Graham Roberts, Harvey Dickinson, Kate Haire, Kathryn Innes, Bansi Mulji-Shah, Fiona Castell, Omar Al-Salihi, Mary Lei, Angela Francis, Bill Dann, Vikash Jogia, Hisham Hamid, Ben Challacombe, Ricard Simo, Stephanie Fraser, Charalampos Gousis, Elinor SawyerEirini Tsotra, Jose Roca, Muhammad Khan, Debra Josephs, Deborah Enting, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Victoria Harris, Saoirse Dolly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: During the COVID pandemic, there was a paucity of data to support clinical decision-making for anticancer treatments. We evaluated the safety of radical treatments which were delivered whilst mitigating the risks of concurrent COVID-19 infection. Methods: Using descriptive statistics, we report on the characteristics and short-term clinical outcomes of patients undergoing radical cancer treatment during the first COVID-19 wave compared to a similar pre-pandemic period. Results: Compared to 2019, the number of patients undergoing radical treatment in 2020 reduced by: 28% for surgery; 18% for SACT; and 10% for RT. Within SACT, 36% received combination therapy, 35% systemic chemotherapy, 23% targeted treatments, 5% immunotherapy and 2% biological therapy. A similar proportion of RT was delivered in 2019 and 2020 (53% vs. 52%). Oncological outcomes were also similar to pre-COVID-19. The COVID-19 infection rates were low: 12 patients were positive pre surgery (1%), 7 post surgery (<1%), 17 SACT patients (2%) and 3 RT patients (<1%). No COVID-19-related deaths were reported. Conclusions: Whilst there were fewer patients receiving radical anticancer treatments, those who did receive treatment were treated in a safe environment. Overall, cancer patients should have the confidence to attend hospitals and be reassured of the safety measures implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1295
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Volume127
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

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