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Elkrief A, Kazandjian S, Bouganim N. Changes in Lung Cancer Treatment as a Result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic. JAMA Oncol. Published online September 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.4408
Patients with cancer have higher mortality rates from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),1-4 particularly those with lung cancer.5 Therefore, efforts are ongoing to limit exposure of these patients to the health care system. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed cancer care provision, but the extent and type of these changes are unknown. The goal of this study was to evaluate the changes in lung cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We prospectively assessed the treatment plan of all patients seen in the thoracic oncology clinic at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) between March 2 and May 30, 2020. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of either non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Those who had a diagnosis of COVID-19 were excluded. Primary end points were to describe the extent of changes in the treatment plan and qualify the types of changes observed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Definition of change as a direct result of the pandemic was classified as such according to the patient’s medical record and not inferred. The study was determined to be exempt by the MUHC research ethics board and was conducted according to the declaration of Helsinki.
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