Reorganisation of medical oncology departments during the novel coronavirus disease-19 pandemic: a nationwide Italian survey

Alice Indini, Carlo Aschele, Luigi Cavanna, Mario Clerico, Bruno Daniele, Giammaria Fiorentini, Luisa Fioretto, Monica Giordano, Vincenzo Montesarchio, Cinzia Ortega, Graziella Pinotti, Alberto Scanni, Claudio Zamagni, Livio Blasi, Francesco Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 pandemic is a global health problem, which started to affect China by the end of 2019. In Europe, Italy has faced this novel disease entity (named novel coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) first and severely. COVID-19 represents a significant hurdle for public health services and a potential harm for patients with cancer. 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. In the midst of the epidemic in Italy, the CIPOMO promoted a national survey aiming to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on clinical activity of oncologists and the implementation of containment measures of COVID-19 diffusion. Overall, 122 head physicians participated in this survey, with a homogeneous distribution on the national territory. Results show that the following measures for oncologic patients have been promptly implemented through the whole country: use of protective devices, triage of patients accessing the hospital, delay of non-urgent visits and use of telemedicine. Results of this survey suggest that Italian oncology departments have promptly set a proactive approach to the actual emergency. Oncologists need to preserve the continuum of care of patients, as the benefit of ensuring a well-delivered anti-cancer treatment plan outweighs the risk of COVID-19 infection. International cooperation is an important starting point, as heavily affected nations can serve as an example to find out ways to safely preserve health activity during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Coronavirus
  • Health care
  • Infection
  • Oncology
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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