Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis and treatment of onco-hematologic patients: a discussion paper.
Abstract: We do not know the precise figure for solid organ tumors diagnosed each year in Spain and it is therefore difficult to calculate whether there has been a decrease in cancer diagnoses as a consequence of the pandemic. Some indirect data suggest that the pandemic has worsened the stage at which some non-hematological neoplasms are diagnosed. Despite the lack of robust evidence, oncology patients seem more likely to have a poor outcome when they contract COVID-19. The antibody response to infection in cancer patients will be fundamentally conditioned by the type of neoplasia present, the treatment received and the time of its administration. In patients with hematological malignancies, the incidence of infection is probably similar or lower than in the general population, due to the better protective measures adopted by the patients and their environment. The severity and mortality of COVID-19 in patients with hematologic malignancies is clearly higher than the general population. Since the immune response to vaccination in hematologic patients is generally worse than in comparable populations, alternative methods of prevention must be established in these patients, as well as actions for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Campaigns for the early diagnosis of malignant neoplasms must be urgently resumed, post-COVID manifestations should be monitored, collaboration with patient associations is indisputable and it is urgent to draw the right conclusions to improve our preparedness to fight against possible future catastrophes.
- MEDICINA