Cancer patients are thought to have an increased risk of developing severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and of dying from the disease. In this work, predictive factors for COVID-19 severity and mortality in cancer patients were investigated.
Patients and Methods
In this large nationwide retro-prospective cohort study, we collected data on patients with solid tumours and COVID-19 diagnosed between March 1 and June 11, 2020. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality and COVID-19 severity, defined as admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and/or mechanical ventilation and/or death, was one of the secondary endpoints.
From April 4 to June 11, 2020, 1289 patients were analysed. The most frequent cancers were digestive and thoracic. Altogether, 424 (33%) patients had a severe form of COVID-19 and 370 (29%) patients died. In multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with death were male sex (odds ratio 1.73, 95%CI: 1.18-2.52), ECOG PS ≥ 2 (OR 3.23, 95%CI: 2.27-4.61), updated Charlson comorbidity index (OR 1.08, 95%CI: 1.01-1.16) and admission to ICU (OR 3.62, 95%CI 2.14-6.11). The same factors, age along with corticosteroids before COVID-19 diagnosis, and thoracic primary tumour site were independently associated with COVID-19 severity. None of the anticancer treatments administered within the previous 3 months had any effect on mortality or COVID-19 severity, except cytotoxic chemotherapy in the subgroup of patients with detectable SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR, which was associated with a slight increase of the risk of death (OR 1.53; 95%CI: 1.00-2.34; p = 0.05). A total of 431 (39%) patients had their systemic anticancer treatment interrupted or stopped following diagnosis of COVID-19.
Mortality and COVID-19 severity in cancer patients are high and are associated with general characteristics of patients. We found no deleterious effects of recent anticancer treatments, except for cytotoxic chemotherapy in the RT-PCR-confirmed subgroup of patients. In almost 40% of patients, the systemic anticancer therapy was interrupted or stopped after COVID-19 diagnosis.
Radiotherapy has been driven by constant technological advances since the discovery of X-rays in 1895. Radiotherapy aims to sculpt the optimal isodose on the tumour volume while sparing normal tissues. The benefits are threefold: patient cure, organ preservation and cost-efficiency. The efficacy and tolerance of radiotherapy were demonstrated by randomized trials in many different types of cancer (including breast, prostate and rectum) with a high level of scientific evidence. Such achievements, of major importance for the quality of life of patients, have been fostered during the past decade by linear accelerators with computer-assisted technology. More recently, these developments were augmented by proton and particle beam radiotherapy, usually combined with surgery and medical treatment in a multidisciplinary and personalized strategy against cancer. This article reviews the timeline of 100 years of radiotherapy with a focus on breakthroughs in the physics of radiotherapy and technology during the past two decades, and the associated clinical benefits.
Background Covid-19 is defined by an association of multiple symptoms, including frequently reported olfactory and gustatory disorders. Objective The main purpose of this study was to analyze the prevalence of these neurosensory impairments in patients with Covid-19, and to assess short-term recovery. Methods We performed a multicenter case series study during the Covid-19 epidemic. All patients presenting a RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included, whether hospitalized or treated at home. To analyze the prevalence and features of olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions, a phone interview was conducted 5 days after the positive PCR result. The questionnaire was submitted again 10 days later to patients having reported olfactory and gustatory disorders, in order to assess their recovery. Results 115 patients were included in our study. 81 patients (70%) reported olfactory and gustatory disorders without nasal obstruction or rhinorrhea. These impairments were more frequently reported in the female population, young people, and house-bound patients with mild symptomatic forms. Short-term recovery assessed at Day 15 was complete for 64% of the patients, and incomplete in 33%. Median recovery time was 15 days (4–27 days) after olfactory or gustatory symptom onset. Conclusion Olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions related to Covid-19 are frequently reported and prevalent in mild symptomatic forms of the disease. Recovery in most cases seems rapid and complete.
The most frequent site of ocular metastasis is the choroid. The occurrence of choroidal metastases has increased steadily due to the longer survival of metastatic patients and the improvement of diagnostic tools. Fundoscopy, ultrasonography, and fluorescein angiography are now complemented by indocyanine green angiography and optical coherence tomography. Choroidal tumor biopsy may also confirm the metastatic nature of the tumor and help to determine the site of the primary malignancy. There is currently no consensus on the treatment strategy. Most patients have a limited life expectancy and for these complex treatments are generally not recommended. However, recent advances in systemic therapy have significantly improved survival of certain patients who may benefit from an aggressive ocular approach that could preserve vision. Although external beam radiation therapy is the most widely used treatment, more advanced forms of radiotherapy that are associated with fewer side effects can be proposed in select cases. In patients with a shorter life expectancy, systemic therapies such as those targeting oncogenic drivers, or immunotherapy can induce a regression of the choroidal metastases, and may be sufficient to temporarily decrease visual symptoms. However, they often acquire resistance to systemic treatment and ocular relapse usually requires radiotherapy for durable control. Less invasive office-based treatments, such as photodynamic therapy and intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF, may also help to preserve vision while reducing time spent in medical settings for patients in palliative care. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on choroidal metastases, with emphasis on the most recent findings in epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment.
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