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Safe provision of systemic anti-cancer treatment for urological cancer patients during COVID-19: a tertiary centre experience in the first wave of COVID-19

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Alfred Chung Pui So, Christina Karampera, Muhammad Khan, Beth Russell, Charlotte Moss, Maria J. Monroy-Iglesias, Kiruthikah Thillai, Debra Hannah Josephs, Elias Pintus, Sarah Rudman, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Saoirse Dolly, Deborah Enting

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
PublishedDec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

King's Authors


Background: Safe provision of systemic anti-cancer treatment (SACT) during the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing concern amongst clinicians. Methods: Retrospective analysis on uro-oncology patients who continued or started SACT between 1st March and 31st May 2020 during the pandemic (with 2019 as a comparator). Results: 441 patients received SACT in 2020 (292 prostate, 101 renal, 38 urothelial, 10 testicular) compared to 518 patients in 2019 (340 prostate, 121 renal, 42 urothelial, 15 testicular). In 2020, there were 75.00% fewer patients with stage 3 cancers receiving SACT (p < 0.0001) and 94.44% fewer patients receiving radical treatment (p = 0.00194). The number of patients started on a new line of SACT was similar between both years (118 in 2019 vs 102 in 2020; p = 0.898) but with 53.45% fewer patients started on chemotherapy in 2020 (p < 0.001). Overall, 5 patients tested positive for COVID-19 (one asymptomatic, one mild, two moderate, one severe resulting in death). Compared to 2019, 30-day mortality was similar (1.69% in 2019 vs 0.98% in 2020; p = 0.649) whereas 6-month mortality was lower (9.32% in 2019 vs 1.96% in 2020; p = 0.0209) in 2020. Conclusion: This study suggests that delivery of SACT to uro-oncology patients during COVID-19 pandemic may be safe in high-incidence areas with appropriate risk-reduction strategies.

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