COVID-19 in clinical oncology
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting patients with cancer and the clinical staff involved in their care. In this Collection, we bring you the articles published in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology addressing this clinical need.
Editorials and research highlights
Clinicians and researchers are rapidly adapting to working in the midst of a pandemic. Herein, we share our initial thoughts of the consequences of COVID-19 for the oncology community.
Randomized controlled trials designed to test cancer therapies often fail to clarify effectiveness in real-world settings. Herein, we explore lessons for trial development in oncology that can be learnt from the large-cohort, pragmatic RECOVERY trial involving patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
We reflect on the past 10 months of clinical activity in oncology in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest how services can be protected during subsequent waves of infection.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted health care worldwide. Patients with cancer seem to be particularly susceptible to morbidities and mortality from this novel disease. No COVID-19-specific therapy currently seems to offer a survival benefit to this unique patient population. Furthermore, the global effects on routine cancer care will likely be felt for decades to come.
Early published data on COVID-19 in patients with cancer are being referenced in clinical guidelines, despite methodological flaws that limit the quality of much of this evidence. In the next phase of research in this area, we argue that the quality of observational evidence should be prioritized over speed of publication.
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has become the focus of attention worldwide, and herein we seek to highlight the potential problem of ‘collateral mortality’ from delayed or deferred treatments in patients with cancer. We propose potential solutions to ensure continuity of care in the field of surgical oncology.
Radiotherapy can be safely delivered during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, often through use of hypofractionated regimens, which minimize the number of visits to treatment centres while also avoiding potentially detrimental delays in the delivery of cancer care.
Health-care services are rapidly transforming their organization and workforce in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These changes, and a desire to mitigate infection risk, are having profound effects on other vital aspects of care, including the care of patients with cancer. Difficult decisions are being made regarding the prioritization of both active treatments and palliative care, despite limited evidence that cancer is an independent risk factor for infection and mortality.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the cancer community faces many difficult questions. We will first discuss safety considerations for patients with cancer requiring treatment in SARS-CoV-2 endemic areas. We will then discuss a general framework for prioritizing cancer care, emphasizing the precautionary principle in decision making.
Burnout is a substantial issue associated with the medical profession, with oncology being no exception. Increasing focus is being placed on implementing solutions to address physician burnout, and successful interventions have encompassed the following themes: the presence of an organizational mandate, data-driven and grassroots quality improvements, and a focus on systems change.