The Management of Children with Cancer during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Review

Matteo Amicucci, Angela Mastronuzzi, Italo Ciaralli, Federico Piccioni, Andreea Cristina Schiopu, Emanuela Tiozzo, Orsola Gawronski, Valentina Biagioli, Immacolata Dall'Oglio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the fact that cancer patients seem to be at a higher risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, limited data are available in the pediatric oncology setting. A systematic rapid review was conducted to analyze scientific literature regarding the management, interventions, and strategies adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the pediatric cancer population. Our search on PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases yielded 505 articles. After removing duplicates, 21 articles were included. Articles focused on infection prevention (n = 19; 90.5%), management (n = 18; 85.7%), overall management of specific treatments for cancer (n = 13; 61.9%), and education (n = 7; 33.3%). The interventions adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were similar across organizations and in line with general recommendations. Most of them reported interventions that could be used as valid strategies for similar emergencies. The strategies included limiting the risk of contagion by restricting access to the wards and implementing hygiene measures, the identification of separate pathways for the management of patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, the postponement of people accessing the hospital for non-urgent or unnecessary tests or medical examinations, and the preventive screening of patients before chemotherapy treatment or transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells. It is necessary to identify key indicators in order to better evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions implemented over time. A summary of the recommendations is provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2020

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