The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably caused those involved in cancer care to change clinical practice in order to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining cancer treatment as a priority. General advice during the pandemic suggests that most patients continue with ongoing therapies or planned surgeries, while follow-up visits may instead be delayed until the resolution of the outbreak. We conducted a literature search using PubMed to identify articles published in English language that reported on care recommendations for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic from its inception up to 1st June 2020, using the terms “(cancer or tumor) AND (COVID 19)”. Articles were selected for relevance and split into five categories: (1) personal recommendations of single or multiple authors, (2) recommendations of single authoritative centers, (3) recommendations of panels of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, (4) recommendations of multicenter cooperative groups, (5) official guidelines or recommendations of health authorities. Of the 97 included studies, 10 were personal recommendations of single or multiple independent authors, 16 were practice recommendations of single authoritative cancer centers, 35 were recommendations provided by panel of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, 19 were cooperative group position papers, and finally, 17 were official guidelines statements. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency, and has rapidly modified our clinical practice. Delaying unnecessary treatment, minimizing toxicity, and identifying care priorities for surgery, radiotherapy, and systemic therapies must be viewed as basic priorities in the COVID-19 era.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research