The Impact of COVID-19 Infection in Cancer

A topical collection in Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694). This collection belongs to the section "Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention".

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Editors


E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
1. Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University G. D’Annunzio, 66013 Chieti, Italy
2. Department of Research, Unit of Cellular Network and Therapeutic Innovation, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, 00144 Rome, Italy
Interests: tumor biology; molecular oncology; onco-suppressor p53; autophagy; hypoxia; oxidative stress; tumor microenvironment; glioblastoma; personalized medicine
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Highly pathogenic coronavirus SARS-CoV2 infection is spreading worldwide causing the COVID-19 disease. During such infection that predominantly interests the lungs, a massive release of inflammatory cytokines may contribute to the destruction of infected alveolar cells and induce fibrosis and endothelial cell damage, promoting the activation of the coagulation pathway, which worsens the local clinical picture of the disease and may also have systemic impact. Besides intense inflammation, these cytokines impair the function of the immune system. Both effects predispose to cancer onset, especially of those types associated with oncogenic herpesviruses reactivation, and may worsen the course of established cancers. In this Topical Collection, we would like to bring together articles covering different aspects of the possible impact of COVID-19 on cancer. In fact, people with cancer are among those at higher risk of complications if infected by SARS-CoV2, because their immune systems are already weakened by cancer and related treatment.

Dr. Gabriella D’Orazi
Dr. Mara Cirone
Collection Editors

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Keywords

  • SARS-CoV2
  • coronavirus
  • herpesviruses
  • inflammatory cytokines
  • cancer treatment
  • cancer progression
  • immune dysfunctions

Published Papers (43 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020

15 pages, 2195 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Time to Treatment in Surgical Oncology: A National Registry Study in The Netherlands
by Roos M. G. van Vuren, Yester F. Janssen, Rianne N. M. Hogenbirk, Michelle R. de Graaff, Rinske van den Hoek, Schelto Kruijff, David J. Heineman, Willemijn Y. van der Plas and Michel W. J. M. Wouters
Cancers 2024, 16(9), 1738; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16091738 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
To avoid delay in oncological treatment, a 6-weeks norm for time to treatment has been agreed on in The Netherlands. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health systems resulted in reduced capacity for regular surgical care. In this study, we investigated [...] Read more.
To avoid delay in oncological treatment, a 6-weeks norm for time to treatment has been agreed on in The Netherlands. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health systems resulted in reduced capacity for regular surgical care. In this study, we investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on time to treatment in surgical oncology in The Netherlands. Methods: A population-based analysis of data derived from five surgical audits, including patients who underwent surgery for lung cancer, colorectal cancer, upper gastro-intestinal, and hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) malignancies, was performed. The COVID-19 cohort of 2020 was compared to the historic cohorts of 2018 and 2019. Primary endpoints were time to treatment initiation and the proportion of patients whose treatment started within 6 weeks. The secondary objective was to evaluate the differences in characteristics and tumour stage distribution between patients treated before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 14,567 surgical cancer patients were included in this study, of these 3292 treatments were started during the COVID-19 pandemic. The median time to treatment decreased during the pandemic (26 vs. 27 days, p < 0.001) and the proportion of patients whose treatment started within 6 weeks increased (76% vs. 73%, p < 0.001). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, adjusting for patient characteristics, no significant difference in post-operative outcomes between patients who started treatment before or after 6 weeks was found. Overall, the number of procedures performed per week decreased by 8.1% during the pandemic. This reduction was most profound for patients with stage I lung carcinoma and colorectal carcinoma. There were fewer patients with pulmonary comorbidities in the pandemic cohort (11% vs. 13%, p = 0.003). Conclusions: Despite pressure on the capacity of the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, a larger proportion of surgical oncological patients started treatment within six weeks, possibly due to prioritisation of cancer care and reductions in elective procedures. However, during the pandemic, a decrease in the number of surgical oncological procedures performed in The Netherlands was observed, especially for patients with stage I disease. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022, 2021, 2020

16 pages, 3573 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Multicenter Cohort Study Evaluating the Long-Term Influence of the Strict Lockdown during the First COVID-19 Wave on Lung Cancer Patients (ARTEMISIA Trial)
by Olivier Molinier, Camille Guguen, Marie Marcq, Anne-Laure Chene, Philippe Masson, Frédéric Bigot, Fabrice Denis, Fabienne Empereur, Philippe Saulnier and Thierry Urban
Cancers 2023, 15(24), 5729; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15245729 - 6 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
The consequences of the strict health restrictions during the first wave of COVID-19 on lung cancer (LC) patients are not known. This cohort study evaluated the impact of the initial lockdown on management of and long-term outcome in LC patients. This exposed–unexposed-type study [...] Read more.
The consequences of the strict health restrictions during the first wave of COVID-19 on lung cancer (LC) patients are not known. This cohort study evaluated the impact of the initial lockdown on management of and long-term outcome in LC patients. This exposed–unexposed-type study included two evaluation periods of 6 months each in non-selected patients; one began on the first day of lockdown in 2020, and the other in 2019 during the same calendar period. Various indicators were compared: clinical profiles, management delays and overall survival beyond 2 years. A total of 816 patients from 7 public or private centers were enrolled. The clinical characteristics of the patients in 2020 did not differ from those in 2019, except that the population was older (p = 0.002) with more non-smokers (p = 0.006). Delays for pre-therapeutic medical management were generally reduced after the first imaging in 2020 (1.28 [1.1–1.49]). In the multivariate analysis, being part of the 2020 cohort was correlated with better prognosis (HR = 0.71 [0.5–0.84], p < 0.001). The gain observed in 2020 mainly benefited non-smoking patients, along with ECOG PS 0–2 (p = 0.01), stage 4 (p = 0.003), squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.03) and receiving systemic therapy (p = 0.03). In conclusion, the first lockdown did not exert any deleterious impact on LC patients. Full article
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14 pages, 1006 KiB  
Article
Regular Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses in Individuals with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Who Received a Full Vaccination Schedule against COVID-19
by Sara Rodríguez-Mora, Magdalena Corona, Miriam Solera Sainero, Elena Mateos, Montserrat Torres, Clara Sánchez-Menéndez, Guiomar Casado-Fernández, Javier García-Pérez, Mayte Pérez-Olmeda, María Aranzazu Murciano-Antón, Javier López-Jiménez, Mayte Coiras and Valentín García-Gutiérrez
Cancers 2023, 15(20), 5066; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15205066 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Individuals with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) constitute a unique group within individuals with oncohematological disease (OHD). They receive treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that present immunomodulatory properties, and they may eventually be candidates for treatment discontinuation under certain conditions despite the chronic [...] Read more.
Individuals with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) constitute a unique group within individuals with oncohematological disease (OHD). They receive treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that present immunomodulatory properties, and they may eventually be candidates for treatment discontinuation under certain conditions despite the chronic nature of the disease. In addition, these individuals present a lower risk of infection than other immunocompromised patients. For this study, we recruited a cohort of 29 individuals with CML in deep molecular response who were on treatment with TKIs (n = 23) or were on treatment-free remission (TFR) (n = 6), and compared both humoral and cellular immune responses with 20 healthy donors after receiving the complete vaccination schedule against SARS-CoV-2. All participants were followed up for 17 months to record the development of COVID-19 due to breakthrough infections. All CML individuals developed an increased humoral response, with similar seroconversion rates and neutralizing titers to healthy donors, despite the presence of high levels of immature B cells. On the whole, the cellular immune response was also comparable to that of healthy donors, although the antibody dependent cytotoxic activity (ADCC) was significantly reduced. Similar rates of mild breakthrough infections were observed between groups, although the proportion was higher in the CML individuals on TFR, most likely due to the immunomodulatory effect of these drugs. In conclusion, as with the healthy donors, the vaccination did not impede breakthrough infections completely in individuals with CML, although it prevented the development of severe or critical illness in this special population of individuals with OHD. Full article
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10 pages, 900 KiB  
Article
Clinical Characteristics and Postoperative Complications in Patients Undergoing Colorectal Cancer Surgery with Perioperative COVID-19 Infection
by Xuan Dai, Wenjun Ding, Yongshan He, Shiyong Huang, Yun Liu and Tingyu Wu
Cancers 2023, 15(19), 4841; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15194841 - 3 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
With the emergence of novel variants, there have been widespread COVID-19 infections in the Chinese mainland recently. Compared to ancestral COVID-19 variants, Omicron variants become more infectious, but less virulent. Previous studies have recommended postponing non-emergency surgery for at least 4–8 weeks after [...] Read more.
With the emergence of novel variants, there have been widespread COVID-19 infections in the Chinese mainland recently. Compared to ancestral COVID-19 variants, Omicron variants become more infectious, but less virulent. Previous studies have recommended postponing non-emergency surgery for at least 4–8 weeks after COVID-19 infection. However, delayed surgery has been shown to be associated with tumor progression and worse overall survival for cancer patients. Here, we examined surgery risk and optimal timing for colorectal cancer patients with perioperative COVID-19 infection. A total of 211 patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery from 1 October 2022 to 20 January 2023 at Xinhua Hospital were included. In addition, COVID-19-infected patients were further categorized into three groups based on infected time (early post-COVID-19 group, late post-COVID-19 group and postoperative COVID-19 group). The complication rate in patients with COVID-19 infection was 26.3%, which was significantly higher than in control patients (8.4%). The most common complications in COVID-19-infected patients were pneumonia, ileus and sepsis. Patients who underwent surgery close to the time of infection had increased surgery risks, whereas surgery performed over 1 week after recovery from COVID-19 did not increase the risk of postoperative complications. In conclusion, surgery performed during or near the time of COVID-19 infection is associated with an increased risk of developing postoperative complications. We recommend that the safe period for patients with recent COVID-19 infection in colorectal cancer surgery be at least 1 week after recovery from COVID-19. Full article
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14 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Number of Gastrointestinal Cancers and Stage at Diagnosis with COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan: A Multicenter Cohort Study
by Kento Kuzuu, Noboru Misawa, Keiichi Ashikari, Shigeki Tamura, Shingo Kato, Kunihiro Hosono, Masato Yoneda, Takashi Nonaka, Shozo Matsushima, Tatsuji Komatsu, Atsushi Nakajima and Takuma Higurashi
Cancers 2023, 15(17), 4410; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15174410 - 4 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
This retrospective cohort study compared the number of newly diagnosed patients, stage at diagnosis, and detection process of gastrointestinal cancers based on hospital-based cancer registry data at two tertiary Japanese hospitals. The pre-COVID-19 period was from January 2017 to February 2020, with phase [...] Read more.
This retrospective cohort study compared the number of newly diagnosed patients, stage at diagnosis, and detection process of gastrointestinal cancers based on hospital-based cancer registry data at two tertiary Japanese hospitals. The pre-COVID-19 period was from January 2017 to February 2020, with phase 1 (midst of COVID-19 pandemic) from March to December 2020 and phase 2 (the transition period to the “new normal”) from January to December 2021. Each month, the number of patients diagnosed with esophageal, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, liver, and biliary tract cancers were aggregated, classified by stage and detection process, and compared, including a total of 6453 patients. The number of colorectal Stage 0-II patients decreased significantly in phase 1 and increased in phase 2. The total number of colorectal cancer patients returned to pre-COVID-19 levels (mean monthly patients [SD]: 41.61 [6.81] vs. 36.00 [6.72] vs. 46.00 [11.32]). The number of patients with gastric cancer Stage I significantly decreased in phase 2 following phase 1. The number of gastric cancer patients decreased significantly from pre-COVID-19 levels (30.63 [6.62] vs. 22.40 [5.85] vs. 24.50 [4.15]). During phase 2, the number of patients diagnosed after screening with colorectal cancer increased significantly, whereas that with gastric cancer remained considerably lower. The number of Stage III colorectal and gastric cancer patients increased significantly from the pre-COVID-19 levels. Thus, gastric cancer may not be optimally screened during phases 1 and 2. There was a significant increase in patients with Stage III colorectal and gastric cancers from the pre-COVID-19 period; hence, the stage at diagnosis may have progressed. Full article
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9 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Protective Effect of Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin against SARS-CoV-2 in Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Patients: A Multicenter Observational Trial
by Rodolfo Hurle, Francesco Soria, Roberto Contieri, Pier Paolo Avolio, Stefano Mancon, Massimo Lazzeri, Valentina Bernasconi, Simone Mazzoli, Giuseppe Pizzuto, Matteo De Bellis, Matteo Rosazza, Simone Livoti, Tommaso Lupia, Silvia Corcione, Beatrice Lillaz, Francesco Giuseppe De Rosa, Nicolò Maria Buffi, Ashish M. Kamat, Paolo Gontero and Paolo Casale
Cancers 2023, 15(5), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15051618 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
We aim to evaluate the potential protective role of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Patients treated with intravesical adjuvant therapy for NMIBC between January 2018 and December 2019 at two Italian referral centers were [...] Read more.
We aim to evaluate the potential protective role of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Patients treated with intravesical adjuvant therapy for NMIBC between January 2018 and December 2019 at two Italian referral centers were divided into two groups based on the received intravesical treatment regimen (BCG vs. chemotherapy). The study’s primary endpoint was evaluating SARS-CoV-2 disease incidence and severity among patients treated with intravesical BCG compared to the control group. The study’s secondary endpoint was the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 infection (estimated with serology testing) in the study groups. Overall, 340 patients treated with BCG and 166 treated with intravesical chemotherapy were included in the study. Among patients treated with BCG, 165 (49%) experienced BCG-related adverse events, and serious adverse events occurred in 33 (10%) patients. Receiving BCG or experiencing systemic BCG-related adverse events were not associated with symptomatic proven SARS-CoV-2 infection (p = 0.9) nor with a positive serology test (p = 0.5). The main limitations are related to the retrospective nature of the study. In this multicenter observational trial, a protective role of intravesical BCG against SARS-CoV-2 could not be demonstrated. These results may be used for decision-making regarding ongoing and future trials. Full article
17 pages, 1171 KiB  
Review
The Impact of COVID-19 on Surgical Training and Education
by Melinda Z. Fu, Raeesa Islam, Eric A. Singer and Alexandra L. Tabakin
Cancers 2023, 15(4), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15041267 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted conventional medical education for surgical trainees with respect to clinical training, didactics, and research. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical trainees were variable, some common themes are identifiable. As hordes of COVID-19 patients entered hospitals, many [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted conventional medical education for surgical trainees with respect to clinical training, didactics, and research. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical trainees were variable, some common themes are identifiable. As hordes of COVID-19 patients entered hospitals, many surgical trainees stepped away from their curricula and were redeployed to other hospital units to care for COVID-19 patients. Moreover, the need for social distancing limited traditional educational activities. Regarding clinical training, some trainees demonstrated reduced case logs and decreased surgical confidence. For residents, fellows, and medical students alike, most didactic education transitioned to virtual platforms, leading to an increase in remote educational resources and an increased emphasis on surgical simulation. Resident research productivity initially declined, although the onset of virtual conferences provided new opportunities for trainees to present their work. Finally, the pandemic was associated with increased anxiety, depression, and substance use for some trainees. Ultimately, we are still growing our understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined surgical training and how to best implement the lessons we have learned. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2021, 2020

5 pages, 220 KiB  
Editorial
The Impact of COVID-19 Infection in Cancer 2020–2021
by Gabriella D’Orazi and Mara Cirone
Cancers 2022, 14(23), 5895; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14235895 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
This Editorial summarizes the findings of the articles submitted in 2020 and 2021 to the Special Issue “The Impact of COVID-19 in Cancer”. Full article
15 pages, 2083 KiB  
Article
An International Comparison of Presentation, Outcomes and CORONET Predictive Score Performance in Patients with Cancer Presenting with COVID-19 across Different Pandemic Waves
by Oskar Wysocki, Cong Zhou, Jacobo Rogado, Prerana Huddar, Rohan Shotton, Ann Tivey, Laurence Albiges, Angelos Angelakas, Dirk Arnold, Theingi Aung, Kathryn Banfill, Mark Baxter, Fabrice Barlesi, Arnaud Bayle, Benjamin Besse, Talvinder Bhogal, Hayley Boyce, Fiona Britton, Antonio Calles, Luis Castelo-Branco, Ellen Copson, Adina Croitoru, Sourbha S. Dani, Elena Dickens, Leonie Eastlake, Paul Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Foulon, Henrik Frederiksen, Sarju Ganatra, Spyridon Gennatas, Andreas Glenthøj, Fabio Gomes, Donna M. Graham, Christina Hague, Kevin Harrington, Michelle Harrison, Laura Horsley, Richard Hoskins, Zoe Hudson, Lasse H. Jakobsen, Nalinie Joharatnam-Hogan, Sam Khan, Umair T. Khan, Khurum Khan, Alexandra Lewis, Christophe Massard, Alec Maynard, Hayley McKenzie, Olivier Michielin, Anne C. Mosenthal, Berta Obispo, Carlo Palmieri, Rushin Patel, George Pentheroudakis, Solange Peters, Kimberly Rieger-Christ, Timothy Robinson, Emanuela Romano, Michael Rowe, Marina Sekacheva, Roseleen Sheehan, Alexander Stockdale, Anne Thomas, Lance Turtle, David Viñal, Jamie Weaver, Sophie Williams, Caroline Wilson, Caroline Dive, Donal Landers, Timothy Cooksley, André Freitas, Anne C. Armstrong, Rebecca J. Lee and on behalf of the ESMO Co-Careadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2022, 14(16), 3931; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14163931 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3474
Abstract
Patients with cancer have been shown to have increased risk of COVID-19 severity. We previously built and validated the COVID-19 Risk in Oncology Evaluation Tool (CORONET) to predict the likely severity of COVID-19 in patients with active cancer who present to hospital. We [...] Read more.
Patients with cancer have been shown to have increased risk of COVID-19 severity. We previously built and validated the COVID-19 Risk in Oncology Evaluation Tool (CORONET) to predict the likely severity of COVID-19 in patients with active cancer who present to hospital. We assessed the differences in presentation and outcomes of patients with cancer and COVID-19, depending on the wave of the pandemic. We examined differences in features at presentation and outcomes in patients worldwide, depending on the waves of the pandemic: wave 1 D614G (n = 1430), wave 2 Alpha (n = 475), and wave 4 Omicron variant (n = 63, UK and Spain only). The performance of CORONET was evaluated on 258, 48, and 54 patients for each wave, respectively. We found that mortality rates were reduced in subsequent waves. The majority of patients were vaccinated in wave 4, and 94% were treated with steroids if they required oxygen. The stages of cancer and the median ages of patients significantly differed, but features associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes remained predictive and did not differ between waves. The CORONET tool performed well in all waves, with scores in an area under the curve (AUC) of >0.72. We concluded that patients with cancer who present to hospital with COVID-19 have similar features of severity, which remain discriminatory despite differences in variants and vaccination status. Survival improved following the first wave of the pandemic, which may be associated with vaccination and the increased steroid use in those patients requiring oxygen. The CORONET model demonstrated good performance, independent of the SARS-CoV-2 variants. Full article
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12 pages, 430 KiB  
Article
Cancers and COVID-19 Risk: A Mendelian Randomization Study
by Zengbin Li, Yudong Wei, Guixian Zhu, Mengjie Wang and Lei Zhang
Cancers 2022, 14(9), 2086; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14092086 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4812
Abstract
Observational studies have shown increased COVID-19 risk among cancer patients, but the causality has not been proven yet. Mendelian randomization analysis can use the genetic variants, independently of confounders, to obtain causal estimates which are considerably less confounded. We aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Observational studies have shown increased COVID-19 risk among cancer patients, but the causality has not been proven yet. Mendelian randomization analysis can use the genetic variants, independently of confounders, to obtain causal estimates which are considerably less confounded. We aimed to investigate the causal associations of cancers with COVID-19 outcomes using the MR analysis. The inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method was employed as the primary analysis. Sensitivity analyses and multivariable MR analyses were conducted. Notably, IVW analysis of univariable MR revealed that overall cancer and twelve site-specific cancers had no causal association with COVID-19 severity, hospitalization or susceptibility. The corresponding p-values for the casual associations were all statistically insignificant: overall cancer (p = 0.34; p = 0.42; p = 0.69), lung cancer (p = 0.60; p = 0.37; p = 0.96), breast cancer (p = 0.43; p = 0.74; p = 0.43), endometrial cancer (p = 0.79; p = 0.24; p = 0.83), prostate cancer (p = 0.54; p = 0.17; p = 0.58), thyroid cancer (p = 0.70; p = 0.80; p = 0.28), ovarian cancer (p = 0.62; p = 0.96; p = 0.93), melanoma (p = 0.79; p = 0.45; p = 0.82), small bowel cancer (p = 0.09; p = 0.08; p = 0.19), colorectal cancer (p = 0.85; p = 0.79; p = 0.30), oropharyngeal cancer (p = 0.31; not applicable, NA; p = 0.80), lymphoma (p = 0.51; NA; p = 0.37) and cervical cancer (p = 0.25; p = 0.32; p = 0.68). Sensitivity analyses and multivariable MR analyses yielded similar results. In conclusion, cancers might have no causal effect on increasing COVID-19 risk. Further large-scale population studies are needed to validate our findings. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2022, 2020

9 pages, 1085 KiB  
Article
Impact of the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lyon University Hospital Cancer Institute (IC-HCL)
by Anne-Sophie Belmont, Christophe Sajous, Amandine Bruyas, Sara Calattini, Stéphanie Cartalat, Marion Chauvenet, Marc Colombel, Stéphane Dalle, Tristan Dagonneau, Marie Darrason, Gilles Devouassoux, Michaël Duruisseaux, Marielle Guillet, Olivier Glehen, Pierre Philouze, François Tronc, Thomas Walter, Benoît You and Gilles Freyer
Cancers 2022, 14(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14010029 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2232
Abstract
This article presents the protective measures put in place at the “Institut de Cancérologie des Hospices de Lyon” (IC-HCL) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in France (spring 2020) and how they impacted IC-HCL clinical activity. Spring 2020 activities were compared [...] Read more.
This article presents the protective measures put in place at the “Institut de Cancérologie des Hospices de Lyon” (IC-HCL) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in France (spring 2020) and how they impacted IC-HCL clinical activity. Spring 2020 activities were compared to winter 2019–2020. Results showed a decrease of activity of 9% for treatment dispensations, 17% for multidisciplinary team meetings, 20% for head and neck and thoracic surgeries, and 58% for new patient enrolment in clinical trials. Characteristics of patients treated for solid cancer and hospitalized for COVID-19 during spring 2020 were collected in a retrospective study. Mortality was attributed to COVID-19 for half of the cases, 82% being patients above 70 and 73% being stage IV. This is in concordance with current findings concluding that the risk of developing severe or critical symptoms of COVID-19 is correlated with factors co-occurring in cancer patients and not to the cancer condition per se. While a number of routines and treatment regimens were changed, there was no major decline in numbers of treatments conducted at the IC-HCL during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit France between March and May 2020, except for clinical trials and some surgery activities. Full article
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13 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Reduction in Standard Cancer Screening in 2020 throughout the U.S.
by Leslie K. Dennis, Chiu-Hsieh Hsu and Amanda K. Arrington
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 5918; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235918 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2669
Abstract
Cancer screening is an important way to reduce the burden of cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic created delays in screening with the potential to increase cancer disparities in the United States (U.S.). Data from the 2014–2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey were [...] Read more.
Cancer screening is an important way to reduce the burden of cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic created delays in screening with the potential to increase cancer disparities in the United States (U.S.). Data from the 2014–2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey were analyzed to estimate the percentages of adults who reported cancer screening in the last 12 months consistent with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation for cervical (ages 21–65), breast (ages 50–74), and colorectal cancer (ages 50–75) prior to the pandemic. Cancer screening percentages for 2020 (April–December excluding January–March) were compared to screening percentages for 2014–2019 to begin to look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Screening percentages for 2020 were decreased from those for 2014–2019 including several underserved racial groups. Decreases in mammography and colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy were higher among American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, and multiracial participants, but decreases in pap test were also highest among Hispanics, Whites, Asians, and African-Americans/Blacks. Decreases in mammograms among women ages 40–49 were also seen. As the 2020 comparison is conservative, the 2021 decreases in cancer screening are expected to be much greater and are likely to increase cancer disparities substantially. Full article
10 pages, 425 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Presentation and Outcomes among Cancer Patients: A Matched Case-Control Study
by Julien Péron, Tristan Dagonneau, Anne Conrad, Fanny Pineau, Sara Calattini, Gilles Freyer, David Perol, Christophe Sajous and Maël Heiblig
Cancers 2021, 13(21), 5283; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215283 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
It has been suggested that cancer patients are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and at higher risk of developing a severe form of the disease and fatality. This study’s objectives were to measure the excess risk of mortality and morbidity of patients [...] Read more.
It has been suggested that cancer patients are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and at higher risk of developing a severe form of the disease and fatality. This study’s objectives were to measure the excess risk of mortality and morbidity of patients with cancer among patients hospitalized for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to identify factors associated with the risk of death and morbidity among cancer patients. All first cancer patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the two main hospitals of the Lyon area were included. These patients were matched based on age, gender, and comorbidities with non-cancer control patients. A total of 108 cancer patients and 193 control patients were included. The severity at admission and the symptoms were similar between the two groups. The risk of early death was higher among cancer patients, while the risk of intubation, number of days with oxygen, length of stay in ICU, and length of hospital stay were reduced. The main factors associated with early death among cancer patients was the severity of COVID-19 and the number of previous chemotherapy lines. The outcomes appear to be driven by the severity of the infection and therapeutic limitations decided at admission. Full article
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11 pages, 1095 KiB  
Article
Clinical Characteristics, Care Trajectories and Mortality Rate of SARS-CoV-2 Infected Cancer Patients: A Multicenter Cohort Study
by Marc-Antoine Benderra, Ainhoa Aparicio, Judith Leblanc, Demian Wassermann, Emmanuelle Kempf, Gilles Galula, Mélodie Bernaux, Anthony Canellas, Thomas Moreau, Ali Bellamine, Jean-Philippe Spano, Christel Daniel, Julien Champ, Florence Canouï-Poitrine, Joseph Gligorov, on Behalf of the AP-HP/Universities/INSERM COVID-19 Research Collaboration, Cancer AP-HP Group COVID-19 Task Force and AP-HP Covid CDW Initiative (ACCI)
Cancers 2021, 13(19), 4749; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13194749 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 may be more frequent and more severe in cancer patients than in other individuals. Our aims were to assess the rate of COVID-19 in hospitalized cancer patients, to describe their demographic characteristics, clinical features and care trajectories, and to assess the [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 may be more frequent and more severe in cancer patients than in other individuals. Our aims were to assess the rate of COVID-19 in hospitalized cancer patients, to describe their demographic characteristics, clinical features and care trajectories, and to assess the mortality rate. Methods: This multicenter cohort study was based on the Electronic Health Records of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP). Cancer patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 between 3 March and 19 May 2020 were included. Main outcome was all-cause mortality within 30 days of COVID-19 diagnosis. Results: A total of 29,141 cancer patients were identified and 7791 (27%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2. Of these, 1359 (17%) were COVID-19-positive and 1148 (84%) were hospitalized; 217 (19%) were admitted to an intensive care unit. The mortality rate was 33% (383 deaths). In multivariate analysis, mortality-related factors were male sex (aHR = 1.39 [95% CI: 1.07–1.81]), advanced age (78–86 y: aHR = 2.83 [95% CI: 1.78–4.51] vs. <66 y; 86–103 y: aHR = 2.61 [95% CI: 1.56–4.35] vs. <66 y), more than two comorbidities (aHR = 2.32 [95% CI: 1.41–3.83]) and C-reactive protein >20 ng/mL (aHR = 2.20 [95% CI: 1.70–2.86]). Primary brains tumors (aHR = 2.19 [95% CI: 1.08–4.44]) and lung cancer (aHR = 1.66 [95% CI: 1.02–2.70]) were associated with higher mortality. Risk of dying was lower among patients with metabolic comorbidities (aHR = 0.65 [95% CI: 0.50–0.84]). Conclusions: In a hospital-based setting, cancer patients with COVID-19 had a high mortality rate. This mortality was mainly driven by age, sex, number of comorbidities and presence of inflammation. This is the first cohort of cancer patients in which metabolic comorbidities were associated with a better outcome. Full article
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9 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Pandemic: Huge Stress Test for Health System Could Be a Great Opportunity to Update the Workflow in a Modern Surgical Pathology
by Antonino Belfiore, Giovanni Centonze, Patrick Maisonneuve, Carla Riva, Daniele Morelli, Alessandro Mangogna, Giovanna Sabella, Giancarlo Pruneri and Massimo Milione
Cancers 2021, 13(13), 3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133283 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Background: On December 2019, an outbreak of atypical pneumonia, known as COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. This disease, characterized by the rapid human-to-human transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly in more than 200 countries. Northern [...] Read more.
Background: On December 2019, an outbreak of atypical pneumonia, known as COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. This disease, characterized by the rapid human-to-human transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly in more than 200 countries. Northern Italy’s regions have been hit hard in terms of deaths. Here, we report the experience of the Pathology Department of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori (INT) in Milan, the first Italian public cancer center, in the period of the lockdown that took place in Lombardy from March to May 2020. Method: The variation in terms of exams was calculated in two different timeframes: December 2019–February 2020 (pre-COVID-19) and March–May 2020 (COVID-19). During these periods, Turn-Around-Time (TAT) metrics released by the Lombardy Region were calculated to assess if changes applied to guarantee the safeguarding of workers affected the average diagnosis time. Results: In the COVID-19 period, there was a decrease for all the performed exams. The most considerable decrease was observed for PAP tests (−81.6%), followed by biopsies (−48.8%), second opinions (−41.7%), and surgical (−31.5%), molecular (−29.4%) and cytological (−18.1%) tests. Measures applied within the Pathology Department, such as digital pathology, remote working, rotations and changes in operating procedures, improved the diagnostic performance as required by the guidelines of the Lombardy Region in terms of TAT. At the same time, the measures applied for the safeguarding of the personnel turned out to be feasible and did not affect the overall performance of the Pathology Department. Conclusions: The sharp slowdown in cancer screening during the first wave of COVID-19 could seriously endanger cancer prevention in the near future. Full article
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9 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Significant Decrease in Annual Cancer Diagnoses in Spain during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Real-Data Study
by Sofía Ruiz-Medina, Silvia Gil, Begoña Jimenez, Pablo Rodriguez-Brazzarola, Tamara Diaz-Redondo, Mireya Cazorla, Marta Muñoz-Ayllon, Inmaculada Ramos, Carmen Reyna, María José Bermejo, Ana Godoy, Esperanza Torres, Manuel Cobo, Laura Galvez, Antonio Rueda, Emilio Alba and Nuria Ribelles
Cancers 2021, 13(13), 3215; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133215 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2805
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a profound change in health organizations at both the primary and hospital care levels. This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the annual rate of new cancer diagnosis in two university-affiliated hospitals. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a profound change in health organizations at both the primary and hospital care levels. This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the annual rate of new cancer diagnosis in two university-affiliated hospitals. This study includes all the patients with a pathological diagnosis of cancer attended in two hospitals in Málaga (Spain) during the first year of pandemic. This study population was compared with the patients diagnosed during the previous year 2019. To analyze whether the possible differences in the annual rate of diagnoses were due to the pandemic or to other causes, the patients diagnosed during 2018 and 2017 were also compared. There were 2340 new cancer diagnosis compared to 2825 patients in 2019 which represented a decrease of −17.2% (p = 0.0001). Differences in the number of cancer patients diagnosed between 2018 and 2019 (2840 new cases; 0.5% increase) or 2017 and 2019 (2909 new cases; 3% increase) were not statistically significant. The highest number of patients lost from diagnosis in 2020 was in breast cancer (−26.1%), colorectal neoplasms (−16.9%), and head and neck tumors (−19.8%). The study of incidence rates throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the diagnosis of new cancer patients has been significantly impaired. Health systems must take the necessary measures to restore pre-pandemic diagnostic procedures and to recover lost patients who have not been diagnosed. Full article
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16 pages, 2065 KiB  
Article
Diagnostic, Clinical and Post-SARS-CoV-2 Scenarios in Cancer Patients with SARS-CoV-2: Retrospective Analysis in Three German Cancer Centers
by Evgenii Shumilov, Petra Hoffknecht, Raphael Koch, Rudolf Peceny, Steffen Voigt, Nicole Schmidt, Micha Peeck, Ulrike Bacher, Simone Scheithauer, Lorenz Trümper, Georg Lenz, Andrea Kerkhoff and Annalen Bleckmann
Cancers 2021, 13(12), 2917; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13122917 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2329
Abstract
Oncologists face challenges in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infections and post-SARS-CoV-2 cancer treatment. We analyzed diagnostic, clinical and post-SARS-CoV-2 scenarios in patients from three German cancer centers with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sixty-three patients with SARS-CoV-2 and hematologic or solid neoplasms were included. [...] Read more.
Oncologists face challenges in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infections and post-SARS-CoV-2 cancer treatment. We analyzed diagnostic, clinical and post-SARS-CoV-2 scenarios in patients from three German cancer centers with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sixty-three patients with SARS-CoV-2 and hematologic or solid neoplasms were included. Thirty patients were initially asymptomatic, 10 of whom developed COVID-19 symptoms subsequently. Altogether 20 (32%) patients were asymptomatic, 18 (29%) had mild, 12 (19%) severe and 13 (20%) critical courses. Lymphocytopenia increased risk of severe/critical COVID-19 three-fold (p = 0.015). Asymptomatic course was not associated with age, remission status, therapies or co-morbidities. Secondary bacterial infection accompanied more than one third of critical COVID-19 cases. Treatment was delayed post-SARS-CoV-2 in 46 patients, 9 of whom developed progressive disease (PD). Cancer therapy was modified in 8 SARS-CoV-2 survivors because of deteriorating performance or PD. At the last follow-up, 17 patients had died from COVID-19 (n = 8) or PD (n = 9) giving an estimated 73% four-month overall survival rate. SARS-CoV-2 infection has a heterogenous course in cancer patients. Lymphocytopenia carries a significant risk of severe/critical COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 disruption of therapy is as serious as SARS-CoV-2 infection itself. Careful surveillance will allow early restart of the anti-cancer treatment. Full article
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12 pages, 16250 KiB  
Article
Rintatolimod Induces Antiviral Activities in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells: Opening for an Anti-COVID-19 Opportunity in Cancer Patients?
by Dana A. M. Mustafa, Lawlaw Saida, Diba Latifi, Leonoor V. Wismans, Willem de Koning, Lona Zeneyedpour, Theo M. Luider, Bernadette van den Hoogen and Casper H. J. van Eijck
Cancers 2021, 13(12), 2896; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13122896 - 9 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5892
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally leading to a devastating loss of life. Large registry studies have begun to shed light on the epidemiological and clinical vulnerabilities of cancer patients who succumb to or endure poor outcomes of SARS-CoV-2. Specific treatment [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally leading to a devastating loss of life. Large registry studies have begun to shed light on the epidemiological and clinical vulnerabilities of cancer patients who succumb to or endure poor outcomes of SARS-CoV-2. Specific treatment for COVID-19 infections in cancer patients is lacking while the demand for treatment is increasing. Therefore, we explored the effect of Rintatolimod (Ampligen®) (AIM ImmunoTech, Ocala, FL, USA), a Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist, to treat uninfected human pancreatic cancer cells (HPACs). The direct effect of Rintatolimod was measured by targeted gene expression profiling and by proteomics measurements. Our results show that Rintatolimod induces an antiviral effect in HPACs by inducing RNase-L-dependent and independent pathways of the innate immune system. Treatment with Rintatolimod activated the interferon signaling pathway, leading to the overexpression of several cytokines and chemokines in epithelial cells. Furthermore, Rintatolimod treatment increased the expression of angiogenesis-related genes without promoting fibrosis, which is the main cause of death in patients with COVID-19. We conclude that Rintatolimod could be considered an early additional treatment option for cancer patients who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 to prevent the complicated severity of the disease. Full article
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10 pages, 2385 KiB  
Article
The “COVID-19 Pandemic Gap” and Its Influence on Oncologic Outcomes of Bladder Cancer
by Gennadi Tulchiner, Nina Staudacher, Josef Fritz, Christian Radmayr, Zoran Culig, Wolfgang Horninger and Renate Pichler
Cancers 2021, 13(8), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13081754 - 7 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19)-induced effects on deferred diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer (BC) patients are currently not clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic by considering its effects on tumor stage and grade, and to create feasible [...] Read more.
Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19)-induced effects on deferred diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer (BC) patients are currently not clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic by considering its effects on tumor stage and grade, and to create feasible clinical triage decisions. A retrospective single-center analysis of all patients who underwent diagnostic and surgical procedures due to BC, during January 2019 and December 2020, was performed. Due to COVID-19 lockdowns, significantly fewer (diagnostic and therapeutic) endoscopic procedures were performed in the first 6 months of 2020 compared to 2019 (p = 0.002). In patients with a primary diagnosis of BC, a significant increase of high-grade tumors (p < 0.001), as well as advanced tumor stages (p = 0.014), were noticed during 2020 in comparison to 2019. On the contrary, patients with recurrent BC undergoing risk-adapted surveillance, depending on previous tumor histology, showed no adverse outcomes regarding tumor stage and grade when comparing the pre COVID-19 era with 2020. Thus, more awareness in clinical urologic practice is mandatory to avoid adverse consequences, with increased rates of advanced and aggressive tumors in patients with primary BC. In recurrent BC, an individual risk stratification in order to avoid worse outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be justified. Full article
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15 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes of Cancer Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the Lombardy Region, Italy (AIOM-L CORONA): A Multicenter, Observational, Ambispective, Cohort Study
by Serena Di Cosimo, Barbara Tagliaferri, Daniele Generali, Fabiola Giudici, Francesco Agustoni, Antonio Bernardo, Karen Borgonovo, Gabriella Farina, Giovanna Luchena, Andrea Luciani, Franco Nolè, Laura Palmeri, Filippo Pietrantonio, Guido Poggi, Paolo Andrea Zucali, Emanuela Balletti, Giovanna Catania, Ottavia Bernocchi, Federica D’Antonio, Monica Giordano, Francesco Grossi, Angioletta Lasagna, Nicla La Verde, Mariangela Manzoni, Benedetta Montagna, Angelo Olgiati, Alessandra Raimondi, Irene Rampinelli, Elena Verri, Alberto Zaniboni, Massimo Di Maio, Giordano Beretta and Marco Danovaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061324 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3709
Abstract
Cancer patients may be at high risk of infection and poor outcomes related to SARS-CoV-2. Analyzing their prognosis, examining the effects of baseline characteristics and systemic anti-cancer active therapy (SACT) are critical to their management through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The AIOM-L CORONA [...] Read more.
Cancer patients may be at high risk of infection and poor outcomes related to SARS-CoV-2. Analyzing their prognosis, examining the effects of baseline characteristics and systemic anti-cancer active therapy (SACT) are critical to their management through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The AIOM-L CORONA was a multicenter, observational, ambispective, cohort study, with the intended participation of 26 centers in the Lombardy region (Italy). A total of 231 cases were included between March and September 2020. The median age was 68 years; 151 patients (62.2%) were receiving SACT, mostly chemotherapy. During a median follow-up of 138 days (range 12–218), 93 events occurred. Age ≥60 years, metastatic dissemination, dyspnea, desaturation, and interstitial pneumonia were all independent mortality predictors. Overall SACT had a neutral effect (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.83, 95%Confidence Interval [95%CI] 0.32–2.15); however, metastatic patients receiving SACT were less likely to die as compared to untreated counterparts, after adjusting for other confounding variables (OR 0.23, 95%CI 0.11–0.51, p < 0.001). Among cancer patients infected by SARS-CoV-2, those with metastases were most at risk of death, especially in the absence of SACT. During the ongoing pandemic, these vulnerable patients should avoid exposure to SARS-CoV-2, while treatment adjustments and prioritizing vaccination are being considered according to international recommendations. Full article
13 pages, 6424 KiB  
Article
Single-Cell Expression Landscape of SARS-CoV-2 Receptor ACE2 and Host Proteases in Normal and Malignant Lung Tissues from Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma Patients
by Guangchun Han, Ansam Sinjab, Kieko Hara, Warapen Treekitkarnmongkol, Patrick Brennan, Kyle Chang, Elena Bogatenkova, Beatriz Sanchez-Espiridion, Carmen Behrens, Luisa M. Solis, Boning Gao, Luc Girard, Jianjun Zhang, Boris Sepesi, Tina Cascone, Lauren A. Byers, Don L. Gibbons, Jichao Chen, Seyed Javad Moghaddam, Edwin J. Ostrin, Paul Scheet, Junya Fujimoto, Jerry Shay, John V. Heymach, John D. Minna, Steven Dubinett, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Christopher S. Stevenson, Avrum E. Spira, Linghua Wang and Humam Kadaraadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061250 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3765
Abstract
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Severely symptomatic COVID-19 is associated with lung inflammation, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, thereby raising concerns of elevated risk of COVID-19-associated mortality among lung cancer patients. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Severely symptomatic COVID-19 is associated with lung inflammation, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, thereby raising concerns of elevated risk of COVID-19-associated mortality among lung cancer patients. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the major receptor for SARS-CoV-2 entry into lung cells. The single-cell expression landscape of ACE2 and other SARS-CoV-2-related genes in pulmonary tissues of lung cancer patients remains unknown. We sought to delineate single-cell expression profiles of ACE2 and other SARS-CoV-2-related genes in pulmonary tissues of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients. We examined the expression levels and cellular distribution of ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2-priming proteases TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4 in 5 LUADs and 14 matched normal tissues by single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis. scRNA-seq of 186,916 cells revealed epithelial-specific expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and TMPRSS4. Analysis of 70,030 LUAD- and normal-derived epithelial cells showed that ACE2 levels were highest in normal alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells and that TMPRSS2 was expressed in 65% of normal AT2 cells. Conversely, the expression of TMPRSS4 was highest and most frequently detected (75%) in lung cells with malignant features. ACE2-positive cells co-expressed genes implicated in lung pathobiology, including COPD-associated HHIP, and the scavengers CD36 and DMBT1. Notably, the viral scavenger DMBT1 was significantly positively correlated with ACE2 expression in AT2 cells. We describe normal and tumor lung epithelial populations that express SARS-CoV-2 receptor and proteases, as well as major host defense genes, thus comprising potential treatment targets for COVID-19 particularly among lung cancer patients. Full article
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5 pages, 1029 KiB  
Communication
SARS-CoV-2 Serology Monitoring of a Cancer Center Staff in the Pandemic Most Infected Italian Region
by Chiara Maura Ciniselli, Arianna Micali, Loris De Cecco, Paola Notti, Valentina Sinno, Elena Luison, Cecilia C. Melani, Maria Grazia Daidone, Giovanni Apolone, Paolo Verderio and Mariangela Figini
Cancers 2021, 13(5), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051035 - 2 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1771
Abstract
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Cancer Centers adopted specific procedures both to protect patients and to monitor the possible spread of SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare personnel (HCP). In April 2020 at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, one of the three [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Cancer Centers adopted specific procedures both to protect patients and to monitor the possible spread of SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare personnel (HCP). In April 2020 at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, one of the three oncologic hubs in Lombardy where the Health Regional Authorities referred all the cancer patients of the region, we implemented a prospective longitudinal study aimed at monitoring the serological response to SARS-Cov-2 in HCP. One hundred and ten HCP answered a questionnaire and were screened by nasopharyngeal swabs as well as for IgM/IgG levels; seropositive HCPs were further screened every 40–45 days using SARS-CoV-2-specific serology. We identified a fraction of HCP with long-term anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses, though negative for viral RNA, and thus probably able to safely approach fragile cancer patients. Monitoring asymptomatic HCP might provide useful information to organize the healthcare service in a Cancer Center, while waiting for the effectiveness of the active immunization by SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which will provide protection from infection. Full article
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10 pages, 243 KiB  
Article
Continuing Cancer Therapy through the Pandemic While Protecting Our Patients: Results of the Implementation of Preventive Strategies in a Referral Oncology Unit
by Michalis Liontos, Efstathios Kastritis, Christos Markellos, Magdalini Migkou, Evangelos Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou, Konstantinos Koutsoukos, Maria Gavriatopoulou, Flora Zagouri, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Evangelos Terpos and Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos
Cancers 2021, 13(4), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13040763 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Cancer patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have worse outcomes, including higher morbidity and mortality than the general population. Protecting this vulnerable group of patients from COVID-19 is of the utmost importance for the continuous operation of an oncology unit. Preventive strategies have been proposed [...] Read more.
Cancer patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have worse outcomes, including higher morbidity and mortality than the general population. Protecting this vulnerable group of patients from COVID-19 is of the utmost importance for the continuous operation of an oncology unit. Preventive strategies have been proposed by various societies, and centers around the world have implemented these or modified measures; however, the efficacy of these measures has not been evaluated. In our center, a referral oncology/hematology unit in Athens, Greece, we implemented strict protective measures from the outset of the pandemic in the country and we have prospectively recorded the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19. Among 11,618 patient visits performed in our unit, 26 patients (case-to-visit ratio of 0.22%) were found positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 4 (1%) among 392 patients that were screened before starting primary systemic treatment. Among patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 22 were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis; subsequently, 12 required hospitalization and 5 died due to COVID-19. Detailed contact tracing indicated that there was no in-unit transmission of the infection. Thus, strict implementation of multilevel protective strategies along with a modestly intense screening program allowed us to continue cancer care in our unit through the pandemic. Full article
15 pages, 4060 KiB  
Article
Lymphopenia as a Biological Predictor of Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients: A Nationwide Cohort Study
by Jongmin Lee, Sung-Soo Park, Tong Yoon Kim, Dong-Gun Lee and Dong-Wook Kim
Cancers 2021, 13(3), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030471 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 90 | Viewed by 4297
Abstract
We aimed to identify whether lymphopenia is a reliable prognostic marker for COVID-19. Using data derived from a Korean nationwide longitudinal cohort of 5628 COVID-19 patients, we identified propensity-matched cohorts (n = 770) with group I of severe lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte counts [...] Read more.
We aimed to identify whether lymphopenia is a reliable prognostic marker for COVID-19. Using data derived from a Korean nationwide longitudinal cohort of 5628 COVID-19 patients, we identified propensity-matched cohorts (n = 770) with group I of severe lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte counts [ALC]: <500/mm3, n = 110), group II of mild-to-moderate lymphopenia (ALC: ≥500–<1000/mm3, n = 330), and group III, no lymphopenia (ALC: ≥1000/mm3, n = 330). A significantly higher mortality rate was associated with lymphopenia severity: 40% in group I, 22.7% in group II, and 13.0% in group III (p < 0.001). At 28 days, the estimated inferior overall survival associated with intensified lymphopenia: 62.7% in group I, 79.9% in group II, and 89.0% in group III (p < 0.001). Lymphopenia contributed significantly toward a greater need for interventions in all groups but at varying degrees: requirements of invasive ventilation, intensive oxygen supply, or adequate oxygen supply, respectively (p < 0.001). The lymphopenia intensity was independently associated with higher COVID-19 mortality in multivariable analysis; adjusted odds ratios of 5.63 (95% CI, 3.0–10.72), and 2.47 (95% CI, 1.5–4.13) for group I and group II, respectively. Lymphopenia and its severity levels may serve as reliable predictive factors for COVID-19 clinical outcomes; thus, lymphopenia may provide the prognostic granularity required for clinical use in the management of patients with COVID-19. Full article
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11 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Diagnoses in General and Specialized Practices in Germany
by Louis Jacob, Sven H. Loosen, Matthias Kalder, Tom Luedde, Christoph Roderburg and Karel Kostev
Cancers 2021, 13(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030408 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 92 | Viewed by 5822
Abstract
The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on cancer diagnosis in general and specialized practices in Germany. This study included a total of 102,009 patients aged ≥18 years newly diagnosed with cancer [...] Read more.
The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on cancer diagnosis in general and specialized practices in Germany. This study included a total of 102,009 patients aged ≥18 years newly diagnosed with cancer in 1660 practices in Germany from January to May 2019 and from January to May 2020. Practices included general, gynecology, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), dermatology, and urology practices. New cancer diagnoses included all types of cancer and corresponded to cancers not previously documented in the database for a given patient. The number of new cancer diagnoses per general practice decreased significantly between March and May 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 (March: −12.0%, April: −27.6%, and May: −23.4%). A similar trend was observed in specialized practices, and this trend was more pronounced in April 2020 (dermatology: −44.4%, gynecology: −32.0%, and ENT: −28.2%). In addition, there was a significant decrease in almost all sex and age groups in April and May 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Finally, the decrease in the number of new cancer diagnoses was particularly pronounced among cancers of the skin and the respiratory and intrathoracic organs. Together, these data show that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact on cancer diagnosis in Germany, highlighting the need for public health measures improving the management of cancer in this country during this ongoing pandemic. Full article

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8 pages, 951 KiB  
Article
Head and Neck Cancer Treatment during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Central Experience in Rome. Emergency Management, Infection Prevention and Control
by Andrea Cassoni, Resi Pucci, Nicolò Mangini, Maria Teresa Fadda, Andrea Battisti, Filippo Giovannetti, Valentina Terenzi, Marco Della Monaca, Paolo Priore, Ingrid Raponi and Valentino Valentini
Cancers 2021, 13(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010033 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the surgical units, especially those operating on the airways. This study evaluates the series of patients with tumors of the head and neck treated by our unit during Phase-1 of the pandemic and the efficacy of the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the surgical units, especially those operating on the airways. This study evaluates the series of patients with tumors of the head and neck treated by our unit during Phase-1 of the pandemic and the efficacy of the preventive measures implemented for protecting both the patients and staff. A screening program was administered to all the patients who had to undergo surgery. None of the patients tested and operated during Phase 1, between 10 March and 18 May 2020, were positive for COVID-19. A significant portion of the patients was suffering from tumors in advanced stages (T3 and T4). Two patients developed respiratory symptoms during their stay at the unit, so they were put in precautionary isolation and tested, but resulted negative for COVID-19. All the surgical department staff followed the Italian Ministry of Health’s prevention protocol and underwent serological testing. IgG and IgM were negative in everyone, thus confirming that nobody had been exposed to the virus. This study highlights the commitment to efficiently treating patients suffering from tumors of the head and neck region and confirms the effectiveness of the safety measures used to protect our patients and staff’s health. Full article
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17 pages, 1566 KiB  
Review
Effect of COVID-19 on Lungs: Focusing on Prospective Malignant Phenotypes
by Pritam Sadhukhan, M. Talha Ugurlu and Mohammad O. Hoque
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3822; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123822 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 8482
Abstract
Currently, the healthcare management systems are shattered throughout the world, even in the developed nations due to the COVID-19 viral outbreak. A substantial number of patients infected with SARS-CoV2 develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and need advanced healthcare facilities, including invasive mechanical [...] Read more.
Currently, the healthcare management systems are shattered throughout the world, even in the developed nations due to the COVID-19 viral outbreak. A substantial number of patients infected with SARS-CoV2 develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and need advanced healthcare facilities, including invasive mechanical ventilation. Intracellular infiltration of the SARS-CoV2 virus particles into the epithelial cells in lungs are facilitated by the spike glycoprotein (S Protein) on the outer side of the virus envelope, a membrane protein ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) and two proteases (TMPRSS2 and Furin) in the host cell. This virus has unprecedented effects on the immune system and induces a sudden upregulation of the levels of different pro-inflammatory cytokines. This can be a cause for the onset of pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs. Existence of a high concentration of inflammatory cytokines and viral load can also lead to numerous pathophysiological conditions. Although it is well established that cancer patients are among the high-risk population due to COVID-19-associated mortality, it is still unknown whether survivors of COVID-19-infected subjects are at high-risk population for developing cancer and whether any biologic and clinical features exist in post-COVID-19 individuals that might be related to carcinogenesis. Full article
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13 pages, 985 KiB  
Article
Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients under Cytotoxic Cancer Chemotherapy in Brazil
by Mateus Bringel Oliveira Duarte, Frederico Leal, Juliana Luz Passos Argenton and José Barreto Campello Carvalheira
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123490 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2483
Abstract
Background: Cancer patients present a distinct vulnerability to COVID-19. It is unclear if chemotherapy could accentuate the overall risk in these patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis linking COVID-19 data and oncological information systems to compare lethality in patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer patients present a distinct vulnerability to COVID-19. It is unclear if chemotherapy could accentuate the overall risk in these patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis linking COVID-19 data and oncological information systems to compare lethality in patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy before COVID-19. We considered patients who received chemotherapy in the last 30 days as in “active treatment”, and patients who did not receive drugs in this period as “non-active treatment” for propensity-score pair matching. We also tested the influence of baseline variables in our results in a multivariate model. Results: 66.1% (162/246) of patients in matched active chemotherapy died vs. 70.2% (172/246) in the matched non-active chemotherapy group. The risk of death was positively associated with palliative intent of treatment and hematologic neoplasms. Being in active chemotherapy was not associated with increased mortality compared to non-active treatment. We also noted in exploratory propensity-score matchings that the use of alkylating agents (odds ratio [OR] 0.38, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21–0.70) and topoisomerase II inhibitors (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.14–0.56) were protective factors. Conclusions: This study does not demonstrate an increase in mortality for cancer patients under active cytotoxic chemotherapy with COVID-19. Full article
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9 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Impact of the First Wave of COVID-19 on Pediatric Oncology and Hematology: A Report from the French Society of Pediatric Oncology
by Jérémie Rouger-Gaudichon, Eric Thébault, Arthur Félix, Aurélie Phulpin, Catherine Paillard, Aurélia Alimi, Benoît Brethon, Elodie Gouache, Sandra Raimbault, Eva de Berranger, Marilyne Poirée, Séverine Bouttefroy, Nicolas André, Virginie Gandemer and on behalf of Société Française de lutte contre les Cancers et leucémies de l’Enfant et de l’adolescent (SFCE)
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3398; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113398 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
Data regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) description are still limited in pediatric oncology. The French society of pediatric oncology (SFCE) initiated a study to better describe COVID-19 in patients followed in French pediatric oncology and hematology wards. All patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and [...] Read more.
Data regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) description are still limited in pediatric oncology. The French society of pediatric oncology (SFCE) initiated a study to better describe COVID-19 in patients followed in French pediatric oncology and hematology wards. All patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and followed in a SFCE center were enrolled. Data from medical records were analyzed for all patients enrolled up to the end of May 2020. Data were available for 37 patients. Thirty-one were children under 18 years of age. Nineteen patients were female. Seventeen patients had a solid tumor, 16 had a hematological malignancy and four recently underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for non-oncological conditions. Twenty-eight patients presented symptoms, most often with fever, cough, rhinorrhea and asthenia. Ground-glass opacities were the most frequent radiological finding with abnormalities mostly bilateral and peripherally distributed. Twenty-four patients received chemotherapy a month prior to COVID-19 diagnosis. Most patients did not require hospitalization. Three patients required oxygen at the time of diagnosis. In total, five patients were admitted in an intensive care unit because of COVID-19 and one died from the disease. Children and young adults treated for a cancer and/or with a HSCT may be at risk for severe COVID-19 and should be closely monitored. Full article
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14 pages, 319 KiB  
Perspective
Cancer and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Treatment in the Era of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Thilo Gambichler, Judith Reuther, Christina H. Scheel, Laura Susok, Peter Kern and Jürgen C. Becker
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3383; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113383 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
Whether cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are at an increased risk of severe infection and mortality during the corona pandemic is a hotly debated topic that will continue to evolve. Here, we summarize and discuss current studies regarding COVID-19 and anti-cancer [...] Read more.
Whether cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are at an increased risk of severe infection and mortality during the corona pandemic is a hotly debated topic that will continue to evolve. Here, we summarize and discuss current studies regarding COVID-19 and anti-cancer treatment with an emphasis on ICI. Importantly, several lines of evidence suggest that patients currently treated with ICI do not display an increased vulnerability to infection with SARS-CoV-2. Data regarding morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 in cancer patients receiving ICI are less clear and often conflicting. Although mostly based on experimental data, it is possible that ICI can promote the exacerbated immune response associated with adverse outcome in COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, mounting evidence suggests that ICI might even be useful in the treatment of viral infections by preventing or ameliorating T cell exhaustion. In this context, the right timing of treatment might be essential. Nevertheless, some cancer patients treated with ICI experience autoimmune-related side effects that require the use of immunosuppressive therapies, which in turn may promote a severe course of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Although there is clear evidence that withholding ICI will have more serious consequences, further studies are urgently needed in to better evaluate the effects of ICI in patients with COVID-19 and the use of ICI during the corona pandemic in general. Full article
25 pages, 2094 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Cardioncology: From Cardiometabolic Risk Factors to Outcomes in Cancer Patients
by Vincenzo Quagliariello, Annamaria Bonelli, Antonietta Caronna, Gabriele Conforti, Martina Iovine, Andreina Carbone, Massimiliano Berretta, Gerardo Botti and Nicola Maurea
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3316; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113316 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3703
Abstract
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible viral illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, which has been defined by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, considering its remarkable transmission speed worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 interacts with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and TMPRSS2, which is a serine [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible viral illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, which has been defined by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, considering its remarkable transmission speed worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 interacts with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and TMPRSS2, which is a serine protease both expressed in lungs, the gastro-intestinal tract, and cardiac myocytes. Patients with COVID-19 experienced adverse cardiac events (hypertension, venous thromboembolism, arrhythmia, myocardial injury, fulminant myocarditis), and patients with previous cardiovascular disease have a higher risk of death. Cancer patients are extremely vulnerable with a high risk of viral infection and more negative prognosis than healthy people, and the magnitude of effects depends on the type of cancer, recent chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery and other concomitant comorbidities (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome). Patients with active cancer or those treated with cardiotoxic therapies may have heart damages exacerbated by SARS-CoV-2 infection than non-cancer patients. We highlight the cardiovascular side effects of COVID-19 focusing on the main outcomes in cancer patients in updated perspective and retrospective studies. We focus on the main cardio-metabolic risk factors in non-cancer and cancer patients and provide recommendations aimed to reduce cardiovascular events, morbidity, and mortality. Full article
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9 pages, 836 KiB  
Article
The Experience of Oncology Healthcare Providers in the Central Italy during the COVID-19 Lockdown
by Alessandra Fabi, Patrizia Pugliese, Pina Tiziana Falbo, Domenico Corsi, Maria Agnese Fabbri, Bruno Vincenzi, Emilio Bria, Francesco Angelini, Alessandro Bonucci, Arianna Pellegrino, Chiara Falcicchio, Anita Caruso, Luca Giacomelli, Valentina Mirisola, Simonetta Papa, Francesco Cognetti, Gennaro Ciliberto and Maria Perrone
Cancers 2020, 12(10), 3031; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12103031 - 18 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2621
Abstract
While the emotional response of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extensively investigated in countries in the Far-East, little is known about the psychological impact and the associated emotional distress of healthcare providers in Italy, especially with regard to different regions. [...] Read more.
While the emotional response of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extensively investigated in countries in the Far-East, little is known about the psychological impact and the associated emotional distress of healthcare providers in Italy, especially with regard to different regions. The aim of the “VIRARE” survey, which was addressed to all the healthcare providers in the Lazio region (central Italy) and, in particular, to those working in the oncology field, is to analyze their opinion on the impact and management of the pandemic, to better understand the level of their psychological distress. A global good psychological response of healthcare providers to the pandemic has emerged, independently from their different occupations in the oncology field. Healthcare providers show a high degree of resilience, identifying the major causes of distress the difficulty of the management of this situation, the obstacles in their working activity and expressing a high degree of dissatisfaction with how Italian institutions handled this situation. This survey also provides a direct comparison between COVID-19-infected (or directly in contact with COVID-19-infected patients) and uninfected healthcare providers, identifying the sub-category of infected professionals that reported signs of depression as particularly vulnerable. Full article
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16 pages, 3765 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Cancer Patient Care and Treatment: Data from an Outpatient Oncology Clinic in Lombardy (Italy)
by Erica Quaquarini, Giuseppe Saltalamacchia, Daniele Presti, Giulia Caldana, Valentina Tibollo, Alberto Malovini, Raffaella Palumbo, Cristina Maria Teragni, Emanuela Balletti, Ludovica Mollica, Elisa Biscaldi, Mara Frascaroli, Antonio Bernardo and Federico Sottotetti
Cancers 2020, 12(10), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12102941 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3329
Abstract
Lombardy was the first area in Italy to have an outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) at the beginning of 2020. In this context, cancer has been reported as a major risk factor for adverse outcomes and death, so oncology societies have quickly [...] Read more.
Lombardy was the first area in Italy to have an outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) at the beginning of 2020. In this context, cancer has been reported as a major risk factor for adverse outcomes and death, so oncology societies have quickly released guidelines on cancer care during the pandemic. The aim of this study was to investigate the management of cancer patients and oncological treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic and to describe the containment measures performed in our outpatient clinic at Pavia (Lombardy). A comparison with the same period of the four previous years (2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016) was also performed. Using our electronic databases, we evaluated the number and characteristics of patients accessing the hospital for anticancer drug infusion from 24 February, 2020 to 30 April, 2020 and the number of radiological exams performed. Although a significant reduction in access for therapy was seen when compared with 2019 (2590 versus 2974, access rate ratio (ARR) = 0.85, p < 0.001), no significant differences in access numbers and ARR was evident between 2020 and 2018, 2017, or 2016 (2590 versus 2626 (ARR = 0.07), 2660 (ARR = 0.99), and 2694 (ARR = 0.96), respectively, p > 0.05). In 2020, 63 patients delayed treatment: 38% for “pandemic fear”, 18% for travel restrictions, 13% for quarantine, 18% for flu syndrome other than COVID-19, and 13% for worsening of clinical conditions and death. Only 7/469 patients developed COVID-19. A significant reduction in radiological exams was found in 2020 versus all the other years considered (211 versus 360, 355, 385, 390 for the years 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively, p < 0.001). The low incidence of COVID-19 among our cancer patients, along with the hospital policy to control infection, enabled safe cancer treatment and a continuum of care in most patients, while a small fraction of patients experienced a therapeutic delay due to patient-related reasons. Full article
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22 pages, 470 KiB  
Review
A Review of Clinical Practice Guidelines and Treatment Recommendations for Cancer Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Alberto Zaniboni, Michele Ghidini, Francesco Grossi, Alice Indini, Francesca Trevisan, Alessandro Iaculli, Lorenzo Dottorini, Giovanna Moleri, Alessandro Russo, Ivano Vavassori, Alessandra Brevi, Emanuele Rausa, Luigi Boni, Daniele Dondossola, Nicola Valeri, Antonio Ghidini, Gianluca Tomasello and Fausto Petrelli
Cancers 2020, 12(9), 2452; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092452 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3841
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably caused those involved in cancer care to change clinical practice in order to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining cancer treatment as a priority. General advice during the pandemic suggests that most patients continue with ongoing therapies [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably caused those involved in cancer care to change clinical practice in order to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining cancer treatment as a priority. General advice during the pandemic suggests that most patients continue with ongoing therapies or planned surgeries, while follow-up visits may instead be delayed until the resolution of the outbreak. We conducted a literature search using PubMed to identify articles published in English language that reported on care recommendations for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic from its inception up to 1st June 2020, using the terms “(cancer or tumor) AND (COVID 19)”. Articles were selected for relevance and split into five categories: (1) personal recommendations of single or multiple authors, (2) recommendations of single authoritative centers, (3) recommendations of panels of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, (4) recommendations of multicenter cooperative groups, (5) official guidelines or recommendations of health authorities. Of the 97 included studies, 10 were personal recommendations of single or multiple independent authors, 16 were practice recommendations of single authoritative cancer centers, 35 were recommendations provided by panel of experts or of multiple regional comprehensive centers, 19 were cooperative group position papers, and finally, 17 were official guidelines statements. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency, and has rapidly modified our clinical practice. Delaying unnecessary treatment, minimizing toxicity, and identifying care priorities for surgery, radiotherapy, and systemic therapies must be viewed as basic priorities in the COVID-19 era. Full article
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11 pages, 1797 KiB  
Article
The Potential Role of Immune Alteration in the Cancer–COVID19 Equation—A Prospective Longitudinal Study
by Tal Goshen-Lago, Moran Szwarcwort-Cohen, Madeleine Benguigui, Ronit Almog, Ilit Turgeman, Nelly Zaltzman, Michael Halberthal, Yuval Shaked and Irit Ben-Aharon
Cancers 2020, 12(9), 2421; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092421 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7594
Abstract
Background: The risk of cancer patients to develop COVID19 infection is unclear. We aimed to prospectively study cancer patients and oncology healthcare workers for COVID19 serology. In IgG+ cases, immune profile was determined to portray the pattern of immune response to SARS-CoV2. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The risk of cancer patients to develop COVID19 infection is unclear. We aimed to prospectively study cancer patients and oncology healthcare workers for COVID19 serology. In IgG+ cases, immune profile was determined to portray the pattern of immune response to SARS-CoV2. Methods: Cancer patients on active treatment and healthcare workers were enrolled. During the study period (3/2020–6/2020), demographic data and blood were collected at three time points. Expression of IgG, IgM, and IgA were assessed. In SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ cases and matched negative cases, we performed mass cytometry time of flight (CyTOF) analysis on the basis of the expression of surface markers. Results: The study included 164 cancer patients on active intravenous treatment and 107 healthcare workers at the cancer center. No symptomatic cases were reported during the study period. Serology analysis revealed four IgG+ patients (2.4%) and two IgG+ healthcare workers (1.9%)—all were asymptomatic. CyTOF analysis demonstrated substantial reduction in myeloid cells in healthcare workers who were SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ compared to those who were SARS-CoV-2 IgG-, whereas in cancer patients, the reduction was relatively milder (≈50% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ cancer patients compared with ≈90% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ workers). Conclusion: Our results indicate a similar rate of asymptomatic COVID19 infection in cancer patients and healthcare workers in a longitudinal study throughout the pandemic time. Due to differential immune cell profiles of cancer patients who are treated with immunomodulatory agents, the host response to the SARS-COV2 may play a role in COVID19 course and representation. The immunological perspective of cancer treatments on the risk for COVID19 infection should be further explored. Full article
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13 pages, 1844 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 and Cancer: Lessons Learnt from a Michigan Hotspot
by Sunny R. K. Singh, Kannan Thanikachalam, Hiba Jabbour-Aida, Laila M. Poisson and Gazala Khan
Cancers 2020, 12(9), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092377 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2927
Abstract
(1) Background: Outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been worse in those with comorbidities and amongst minorities. In our study, we describe outcomes amongst cancer patients in Detroit, a major COVID-19 hotspot with a predominant inner-city population. (2) Methods: We retrospectively analyzed [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been worse in those with comorbidities and amongst minorities. In our study, we describe outcomes amongst cancer patients in Detroit, a major COVID-19 hotspot with a predominant inner-city population. (2) Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 85 patients with active invasive cancers who were infected with COVID-19. The primary outcome was death or transition to hospice. (3) Results: The majority were males (55.3%, n = 47), ≤70 years old (58.5%, n = 50), and African Americans (65.5%, n = 55). The most common primary site was prostate (18.8%, n = 16). Inpatient admission was documented in 85.5% (n = 73), ICU admission in 35.3% (n = 30), and primary outcome in 43.8% (n = 32) of hospitalized patients. On a multivariate analysis, factors associated with increased odds of a primary outcome included an age of >70 years versus ≤70 years (OR 4.7, p = 0.012) and of male gender (OR 4.8, p = 0.008). Recent cancer-directed therapy was administered in 66.7% (n = 20) of ICU admissions versus 39.5% (n = 17) of general floor admissions (Chi-square p-value of 0.023). (4) Conclusions: High rates of mortality/transition to hospice and ICU utilization were noted amongst our patients with active invasive cancer, following a COVID-19 infection. Men and those of >70 years of age had a greater than four-fold increase in odds of death or transition to hospice. Full article
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13 pages, 590 KiB  
Perspective
Sex Hormones and Hormone Therapy during COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Patients with Cancer
by Carlo Cattrini, Melissa Bersanelli, Maria Maddalena Latocca, Benedetta Conte, Giacomo Vallome and Francesco Boccardo
Cancers 2020, 12(8), 2325; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082325 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 7594
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, severity, and fatality rates. The reason older patients and males show increased risk of severe disease and death remains uncertain. Sex hormones, such as estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, might be [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, severity, and fatality rates. The reason older patients and males show increased risk of severe disease and death remains uncertain. Sex hormones, such as estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, might be implicated in the age-dependent and sex-specific severity of COVID-19. High testosterone levels could upregulate transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), facilitating the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into host cells via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Data from patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen-deprivation therapy seem to confirm this hypothesis. Clinical studies on TMPRSS2 inhibitors, such as camostat, nafamostat, and bromhexine, are ongoing. Antiandrogens, such as bicalutamide and enzalutamide, are also under investigation. Conversely, other studies suggest that the immune modulating properties of androgens could protect from the unfavorable cytokine storm, and that low testosterone levels might be associated with a worse prognosis in patients with COVID-19. Some evidence also supports the notion that estrogens and progesterone might exert a protective effect on females, through direct antiviral activity or immune-mediated mechanisms, thus explaining the higher COVID-19 severity in post-menopausal women. In this perspective, we discuss the available evidence on sex hormones and hormone therapy in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, and we highlight the possible implications for cancer patients, who can receive hormonal therapies during their treatment plans. Full article
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27 pages, 2764 KiB  
Article
Health-Related Quality of Life and Experiences of Sarcoma Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Eugenie Younger, Alannah Smrke, Emma Lidington, Sheima Farag, Katrina Ingley, Neha Chopra, Alessandra Maleddu, Yolanda Augustin, Eve Merry, Roger Wilson, Charlotte Benson, Aisha Miah, Shane Zaidi, Anne McTiernan, Sandra J. Strauss, Palma Dileo, Spyridon Gennatas, Olga Husson and Robin L. Jones
Cancers 2020, 12(8), 2288; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082288 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 5841
Abstract
Sarcomas are rare cancers with a spectrum of clinical needs and outcomes. We investigated care experiences and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in sarcoma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with appointments during the first two months of the UK lockdown were invited [...] Read more.
Sarcomas are rare cancers with a spectrum of clinical needs and outcomes. We investigated care experiences and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in sarcoma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with appointments during the first two months of the UK lockdown were invited to complete a survey. Questions included views on care modifications, COVID-19 worry and psychosocial impact, and EORTC-QLQ-C30 items. 350 patients completed the survey; median age 58 (16–92) years. Care modifications included telemedicine (74%) and postponement of appointments (34%), scans (34%) or treatment (10%). Most felt the quality of care was not affected (72%), however, social life (87%) and emotional wellbeing (41%) were affected. Worry about COVID-19 infection was moderately high (mean 5.8/10) and significantly related to higher cancer-related worry; associated with lower emotional functioning irrespective of treatment intent. Curative patients (44%) with low resilient coping scores had significantly higher COVID-19 worry. Patients who did not know their treatment intent (22%) had significantly higher COVID-19 worry and insomnia. In summary, care experiences were generally positive; however, cancer-related worry, low resilient coping and uncertainty about treatment intent were associated with COVID-19 worry. These patients may benefit from additional psychological support during the pandemic and beyond. Full article
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22 pages, 1229 KiB  
Review
Cancer Management during COVID-19 Pandemic: Is Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors-Based Immunotherapy Harmful or Beneficial?
by Silvia Vivarelli, Luca Falzone, Caterina Maria Grillo, Giuseppa Scandurra, Francesco Torino and Massimo Libra
Cancers 2020, 12(8), 2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082237 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 5618
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently representing a global health threat especially for fragile individuals, such as cancer patients. It was demonstrated that cancer patients have an increased risk of developing a worse symptomatology upon severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently representing a global health threat especially for fragile individuals, such as cancer patients. It was demonstrated that cancer patients have an increased risk of developing a worse symptomatology upon severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, often leading to hospitalization and intensive care. The consequences of this pandemic for oncology are really heavy, as the entire healthcare system got reorganized. Both oncologists and cancer patients are experiencing rescheduling of treatments and disruptions of appointments with a concurrent surge of fear and stress. In this review all the up-to-date findings, concerning the association between COVID-19 and cancer, are reported. A remaining very debated question regards the use of an innovative class of anti-cancer molecules, the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), given their modulating effects on the immune system. For that reason, administration of ICIs to cancer patients represents a question mark during this pandemic, as its correlation with COVID-19-associated risks is still under investigation. Based on the mechanisms of action of ICIs and the current evidence, we suggest that ICIs not only can be safely administered to cancer patients, but they might even be beneficial in COVID-19-positive cancer patients, by exerting an immune-stimulating action. Full article
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11 pages, 2455 KiB  
Article
Clinico-Biological Features and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Patients with Severe COVID-19
by Nicolas Duployez, Jordane Demonchy, Céline Berthon, Julien Goutay, Morgan Caplan, Anne-Sophie Moreau, Anne Bignon, Alice Marceau-Renaut, Delphine Garrigue, Imelda Raczkiewicz, Sandrine Geffroy, Maxime Bucci, Kazali Alidjinou, Julie Demaret, Myriam Labalette, Thierry Brousseau, Annabelle Dupont, Antoine Rauch, Julien Poissy, Sophie Susen, Claude Preudhomme and Bruno Quesneladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cancers 2020, 12(7), 1992; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071992 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 7008
Abstract
Advanced age or preexisting comorbidities have been characterized as risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care. In recent years, clonal hematopoiesis (CH) of indeterminate potential (CHIP) has emerged as a risk factor for chronic inflammatory background [...] Read more.
Advanced age or preexisting comorbidities have been characterized as risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care. In recent years, clonal hematopoiesis (CH) of indeterminate potential (CHIP) has emerged as a risk factor for chronic inflammatory background and subsequent aging-associated diseases. The purpose of this study was to identify biological factors (particularly leukocyte subtypes and inflammatory markers) associated with a risk of clinical deterioration (i.e., orotracheal intubation (OTI)) and to determine whether CH was likely to influence clinical and biological behavior in patients with severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Here, we describe clinical and biological features, including the screening of CHIP mutants in a well-annotated cohort of 122 hospitalized patients with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (55% requiring OTI). We showed that elevated white blood cell counts, especially neutrophils and high C-reactive protein (CRP) levels at admission, were associated with an increased requirement of OTI. We noticed a high prevalence of CH (25%, 38%, 56%, and 82% of patients aged <60 years, 60–70 years, 70–80 years, and >80 years) compared to a retrospective cohort of patients free of hematological malignancy explored with the same pipelines (10%, 21%, 37%, and 44%). However, the existence of CH did not significantly impact clinical outcome, including OTI or death, and did not correlate with other laboratory findings. Full article
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17 pages, 690 KiB  
Review
Cancer and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenges
by Alessandro Allegra, Giovanni Pioggia, Alessandro Tonacci, Caterina Musolino and Sebastiano Gangemi
Cancers 2020, 12(6), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061581 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5110
Abstract
In late December 2019, a new infectious viral disease appeared. A new betacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), has been recognized as the pathogen responsible for this infection. Patients affected by tumors are more vulnerable to infection owing to poor health [...] Read more.
In late December 2019, a new infectious viral disease appeared. A new betacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), has been recognized as the pathogen responsible for this infection. Patients affected by tumors are more vulnerable to infection owing to poor health status, concomitant chronic diseases, and immunosuppressive conditions provoked by both the cancer and antitumor therapies. In this review, we have analyzed some lesser known aspects of the relationship between neoplasms and SARS-CoV-2 infection, starting from the different expression of the ACE2 receptor of the virus in the various neoplastic pathologies, and the roles that different cytokine patterns could have in vulnerability to infection and the appearance of complications. This review also reports the rationale for a possible use of drugs commonly employed in neoplastic therapy, such as bevacizumab, ibrutinib, selinexor, thalidomide, carfilzomib, and PD-1 inhibitors, for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, we have highlighted some diagnostic challenges in the recognition of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer-infected patients. The combination of these two health problems—tumors and a pandemic virus—could become a catastrophe if not correctly handled. Careful and judicious management of cancer patients with SARS-Cov-2 could support a better outcome for these patients during the current pandemic. Full article
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11 pages, 1573 KiB  
Commentary
A Guide for Oncologic Patient Management during Covid-19 Pandemic: The Initial Experience of an Italian Oncologic Hub with Exemplificative Focus on Uro-Oncologic Patients
by Francesco A. Mistretta, Stefano Luzzago, Luigi Orlando Molendini, Matteo Ferro, Enza Dossena, Fabrizio Mastrilli, Gennaro Musi and Ottavio de Cobelli
Cancers 2020, 12(6), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061513 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
The recent exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in Italy led to the adoption of specific extraordinary measures, such as the need to convey treatment of all non-deferrable cancer patients to specialized centres (hubs). We reported a comprehensive summary of guidelines [...] Read more.
The recent exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in Italy led to the adoption of specific extraordinary measures, such as the need to convey treatment of all non-deferrable cancer patients to specialized centres (hubs). We reported a comprehensive summary of guidelines to create and run an oncologic hub during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oncologic hubs must fulfil some specific requirements such as a high experience in oncologic patient treatment, strict strategies applied to remain a “COVID-19-free” centre, and the creation of a dedicated multidisciplinary “hub team”. Cancer treatment of patients who belong to external centres, namely spoke centres, could be organized in different pathways according to the grade of involvement and/or availability of the medical team of the spoke centre. Moreover, dedicated areas should be created for the management and treatment of patients who developed COVID-19 symptoms after hospitalization (i.e., dedicated wards, operation rooms and intensive care beds). Lastly, hospital staff must be highly trained for both preventing COVID-19 contagion and treating patients who develop the infection. We provided a simplified, but complete and easily applicable guide. We believe that this guide could help those clinicians who have to treat oncologic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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10 pages, 247 KiB  
Perspective
Older Cancer Patients during the COVID-19 Epidemic: Practice Proposal of the International Geriatric Radiotherapy Group
by Nam P. Nguyen, Vincent Vinh-Hung, Brigitta G. Baumert, Alice Zamagni, Meritxell Arenas, Micaela Motta, Pedro Carlos Lara, Arthur Sun Myint, Marta Bonet, Tiberiu Popescu, Te Vuong, Gokula Kumar Appalanaido, Lurdes Trigo, Ulf Karlsson and Juliette Thariat
Cancers 2020, 12(5), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051287 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4865
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented as it reached all countries in the world within a record short period of time. Even though COVID-19 infection may be just severe in any adults, older adults (65-year-old or older) may experience a higher [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented as it reached all countries in the world within a record short period of time. Even though COVID-19 infection may be just severe in any adults, older adults (65-year-old or older) may experience a higher mortality rate. Among those affected, cancer patients may have a worse outcome compared to the general population because of their depressed immune status. As the health resources of most countries are limited, clinicians may face painful decisions about which patients to save if they require artificial ventilation. Cancer patients, especially the older ones, may be denied supportive care because of their shorter life expectancy. Thus, special considerations should be taken to prevent infection of older cancer patients and to provide them with adequate social support during their cancer treatment. The following proposal was reached: (1) Education of health care providers about the special needs of older cancer patients and their risks of infection. (2) Special consideration such as surgical masks and separate scheduling should be made to protect them from being infected. (3) Social services such as patient navigators should be provided to ensure adequate medical supply, food, and daily transportation to cancer centers. (4) Close monitoring through phone calls, telecommunication to ensure social distancing and psychological support from patient family to prevent anxiety and depression. (5) Shorter course of radiotherapy by use of hypofractionation where possible to decrease the needs for daily transportation and exposure to infection. (6) Enrollment of older cancer patients in clinical trials for potential antiviral medications if infection does occur. (7) Home health care telemedicine may be an effective strategy for older cancer patients with COVID-19 infection to avoid hospital admission when health care resources become restricted. (8) For selected patients, immunotherapy and targeted therapy may become the systemic therapy of choice for older cancer patients and need to be tested in clinical trials. Full article
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