Treatment guidance for lung cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lung Cancer

Dingemans AC, et al. J Thorac Oncol 2020 - Review.


The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate at a rapid pace inundating medical facilities and creating significant challenges globally. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer patients appears to be higher especially as they are more likely to present with an immunocompromised condition, either from the cancer itself or from the treatments they receive. A major consideration in the delivery of cancer care during the pandemic is to balance the risk of patient exposure and infection with

the need to provide effective cancer treatment. Many aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection remain poorly characterized currently and even less is known about the course of infection in the context of a patient with cancer. As SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious, the risk of infection directly affects the cancer patient being treated, other cancer patients in close proximity, and health care providers. Infection at any level for patients or providers can cause significant disruption to even the most effective treatment plans. Lung cancer patients, especially those with reduced lung function and cardiopulmonary co-morbidities are more likely to have increased risk and mortality from COVID-19 as one of its common manifestation is as an acute respiratory illness. The purpose of this manuscript is to present a practical multidisciplinary and international overview to assist in treatment for lung cancer patients during this pandemic, with the caveat that evidence is lacking in many areas. It is expected that firmer recommendations can be developed as more evidence becomes available.