Management of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Italian perspective on the second wave

Alice Indini, Graziella Pinotti, Fabrizio Artioli, Carlo Aschele, Daniele Bernardi, Alfredo Butera, Efisio Defraia, Gianpiero Fasola, Teresa Gamucci, Monica Giordano, Antonino Iaria, Silvana Leo, Angela S. Ribecco, Riccardo Rossetti, Clementina Savastano, Marina Schena, Rosa R. Silva, Francesco Grossi, Livio Blasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been an overwhelming challenge for worldwide health systems. Since the beginning of year 2020, COVID-19 has represented a potential harm for cancer patients and has often hindered oncology care. The Collegio Italiano dei Primari Oncologi Medici (CIPOMO) is an Italian association of head physicians in oncology departments, which promotes working and research activities in oncology on a national basis. During the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the CIPOMO promoted a national survey aiming to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on oncologists' clinical activity and what changes have been made compared with the Italian situation during the first wave of the pandemic. Overall, 138 heads of medical oncology departments participated in this survey: 75 (54%) from the North, 24 (17%) from the Centre and 39 (28%) from the South of Italy and islands. This survey provides an overview of Italian oncologists facing the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The lesson learned during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic has led to a better organisation of clinical activities, and regular testing among healthcare practitioners, with better chances to grant patients' protection. However, the lack of standardised informatic platforms results in serious challenges in replacing frontal visits, often making a concrete reduction of patients' hospital accesses unfeasible. Oncologists need to keep preserving the continuum of care of patients. Standardisation of safety measures, together with the implementation of informatic platforms, can significantly improve oncology pathways during this second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • COVID-19
  • Health care
  • Oncology
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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