The clinical and translational research activities at the INT – IRCCS “Fondazione Pascale” cancer center (Naples, Italy) during the COVID-19 pandemic

and the INT-Pascale COVID-19 Crisis Unit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in China and Western Europe, where it finally lost the momentum, is now devastating North and South America. It has not been identified the reason and the molecular mechanisms of the two different patterns of the pulmonary host responses to the virus from a minimal disease in young subjects to a severe distress syndrome (ARDS) in older subjects, particularly those with previous chronic diseases (including diabetes) and cancer. The Management of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS “Fondazione Pascale” in Naples (INT-Pascale), along with all Health professionals decided not to interrupt the treatment of those hospitalized and to continue, even if after a careful triage in order not to allow SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects to access, to take care of cancer patients with serious conditions. Although very few (n = 3) patients developed a symptomatic COVID-19 and required the transfer to a COVID-19 area of the Institute, no patients died during the hospitalization and completed their oncology treatment. Besides monitoring of the patients, all employees of the Institute (physicians, nurses, researchers, lawyers, accountants, gatekeepers, guardians, janitors) have been tested for a possible exposure. Personnel identified as positive, has been promptly subjected to home quarantine and subdued to health surveillance. One severe case of respiratory distress has been reported in a positive employees and one death of a family member. Further steps to home monitoring of COVID-19 clinical course have been taken with the development of remote Wi-Fi connected digital devices for the detection of early signs of respiratory distress, including heart rate and oxygen saturation. In conclusion cancer care has been performed and continued safely also during COVID-19 pandemic and further remote home strategies are in progress to ensure the appropriate monitoring of cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalInfectious Agents and Cancer
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • ARDS
  • Cancer center
  • COVID-19
  • IL-6
  • Italy
  • Pascale
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tocilizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research

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