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Delivering esophago-gastric cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom: A surgical perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Shajahan Wahed, Jakub Chmelo, Maziar Navidi, Nick Hayes, Alexander Phillips, Arul Immanuel

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Abstract

© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the provision of medical care. Planning to ensure there is capability to treat those that become ill with the virus has led to an almost complete moratorium on elective work. This study evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on cancer, in particular surgical intervention, in patients with esophago-gastric cancer at a high-volume tertiary center. Methods: All patients undergoing potential management for esophago-gastric cancer from 12 March to 22 May 2020 had their outcomes reviewed. Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) decisions, volume of cases, and outcomes following resection were evaluated. Results: Overall 191 patients were discussed by the MDT, with a 12% fall from the same period in 2019, including a fall in new referrals from 120 to 83 (P=0.0322). The majority of patients (80%) had no deviation from the pre-COVID-19 pathway. Sixteen patients had reduced staging investigations, 4 had potential changes to their treatment only, and 10 had a deviation from both investigation and potential treatment. Only one patient had palliation rather than potentially curative treatment. Overall 19 patients underwent surgical resection. Eight patients (41%) developed complications with two (11%) graded Clavien-Dindo 3 or greater. Two patients developed COVID-19 within a month of surgery, one spending 4 weeks in critical care due to respiratory complications; both recovered. Twelve patients underwent endoscopic resections with no complications. Conclusion: Care must be taken not to compromise cancer treatment and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excellent results can be achieved through meticulous logistical planning, good communication, and maintaining high-level clinical care.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Wahed S, Chmelo J, Navidi M, Hayes N, Phillips AW, Immanuel A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diseases of the Esophagus

Year: 2020

Volume: 33

Issue: 9

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 20/08/2020

Acceptance date: 02/08/2020

ISSN (print): 1120-8694

ISSN (electronic): 1442-2050

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/dote/doaa091

DOI: 10.1093/dote/doaa091

PubMed id: 32816020


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