The Impact of COVID-19 on the Delivery of Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment at Guy’s Cancer Centre

Beth Russell*, Charlotte Moss, Eirini Tsotra, Charalampos Gousis, Debra Josephs, Deborah Enting, Christina Karampera, Muhammad Khan, Jose Roca, Ailsa Sita-Lumsden, Kasia Owczarczyk, Harriet Wylie, Anna Haire, Daniel Smith, Kamarul Zaki, Angela Swampillai, Mary Lei, Vishal Manik, Vasiliki Michalarea, Rebecca KristeleitAnca Mera, Elinor Sawyer, Lucy Flanders, Irene De Francesco, Sophie Papa, Paul Ross, James Spicer, Bill Dann, Vikash Jogia, Nisha Shaunak, Hartmut Kristeleit, Anne Rigg, Ana Montes, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Saoirse Dolly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study aimed to assess the outcome of cancer patients undergoing systemic anti-cancer treatment (SACT) at our centre to help inform future clinical decision-making around SACT during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Patients receiving at least one episode of SACT for solid tumours at Guy’s Cancer Centre between 1 March and 31 May 2020 and the same period in 2019 were included in the study. Data were collected on demographics, tumour type/stage, treatment type (chemotherapy, immunotherapy, biological-targeted) and SARS-CoV2 infection. Results: A total of 2120 patients received SACT in 2020, compared to 2449 in 2019 (13% decrease). From 2019 to 2020, there was an increase in stage IV disease (62% vs. 72%), decrease in chemotherapy (42% vs. 34%), increase in immunotherapy (6% vs. 10%), but similar rates of biologically targeted treatments (37% vs. 38%). There was a significant increase in 1st and 2nd line treatments in 2020 (68% vs. 81%; p < 0.0001) and reduction in 3rd and subsequent lines (26% vs. 15%; p = 0.004) compared to 2019. Of the 2020 cohort, 2% patients developed SARS-CoV2 infections. Conclusions: These real-world data from a tertiary Cancer Centre suggest that despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SACT was able to be continued without any significant effects on the mortality of solid-tumour patients. There was a low rate (2%) of SARS-CoV-2 infection which is comparable to the 1.4%-point prevalence in our total cancer population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Oncology
  • Systemic anti-cancer treatment


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