INTRODUCTION: The organization of the healthcare system has significantly changed after the recent COVID-19 outbreak, with a negative impact on the management of oncological patients. The present survey reports data collected by the Italian Association for Neuroendocrine Tumors on the management of patients with neuroendocrine neoplasia (NEN) during the pandemic dissemination.
METHODS: A survey with 57 questions was sent to NEN-dedicated Italian centers regarding the management of patients in the period March 9, 2020, to May 9, 2020 RESULTS: The main modification in the centers' activity consisted of decreases in newly diagnosed NEN patients (- 76.8%), decreases in performed surgical procedures (- 58%), delays to starting peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (45.5%), postponed/canceled follow-up examinations (26%), and canceled multidisciplinary teams' activity (20.8%). A low proportion of centers (< 10%) reported having to withdraw systemic anti-tumor medical treatment due to concerns about the pandemic situation, whereas PRRT was withdrawn from no patients.
CONCLUSION: Although the COVID-19 outbreak induced the centers to reduce some important activities in the management of NEN patients, the Italian network was able to provide continuity in care without withdrawing anti-tumor treatment for the majority of patients.