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Considerations for the Treatment of Oesophageal Cancer With Radiotherapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published:April 10, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2020.04.001
      The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a public health emergency caused by widespread infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [
      • Li Q.
      • Guan X.
      • Wu P.
      • Wang X.
      • Zhou L.
      • Tong Y.
      • et al.
      Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia.
      ]. For patients with cancer, COVID-19 presents a significant challenge. Many are immunosuppressed, both as a direct result of the malignant disease and as a consequence of anti-cancer treatment. As such, they may be more likely to contract SARS-CoV-2 [
      • Yu J.
      • Ouyang W.
      • Chua M.L.K.
      • Xie C.
      SARS-CoV-2 transmission in patients with cancer at a tertiary care hospital in Wuhan, China.
      ]. Given that hospitals are thought to act as a reservoir from which this virus spreads, the risk of COVID-19 is further exacerbated by the requirement for patients with cancer to frequently attend hospital for follow-up visits, imaging and intensive treatment [
      • Yu J.
      • Ouyang W.
      • Chua M.L.K.
      • Xie C.
      SARS-CoV-2 transmission in patients with cancer at a tertiary care hospital in Wuhan, China.
      ,
      • Liang W.
      • Guan W.
      • Chen R.
      • Wang W.
      • Li J.
      • Ke X.
      • et al.
      Cancer patients in SARS-Co-V-2 infection: a nationwide analysis in China.
      ,
      • Xia Y.
      • Jin R.
      • Zhao J.
      • Li W.
      • Shen H.
      Risk of COVID-19 for cancer patients.
      ]. In a small study in Wuhan, China, the suspected source of the COVID-19 outbreak, patients with cancer seemed to be at a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the wider community, and both recurrent hospital visits and hospital admission conferred greater risk still [
      • Yu J.
      • Ouyang W.
      • Chua M.L.K.
      • Xie C.
      SARS-CoV-2 transmission in patients with cancer at a tertiary care hospital in Wuhan, China.
      ]. A cancer diagnosis and recent anti-cancer treatment have additionally been linked to greater COVID-19 severity [
      • Liang W.
      • Guan W.
      • Chen R.
      • Wang W.
      • Li J.
      • Ke X.
      • et al.
      Cancer patients in SARS-Co-V-2 infection: a nationwide analysis in China.
      ,
      • Xia Y.
      • Jin R.
      • Zhao J.
      • Li W.
      • Shen H.
      Risk of COVID-19 for cancer patients.
      ].
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