Most Read Articles
Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

Natalia Reoutova, 28 May 2020

Fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) cycles in combination with endocrine therapy (ET) cause metabolic changes in hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer patients analogous to those observed in animal models, where they are associated with anticancer activity.

13 Apr 2020
The inherent limitations of using tumour tissues for genomic profiling has led to the need for a more efficient, easily accessible yet accurate method of evaluating biomarkers to facilitate personalised medicine. At the ESMO Asia Colloquia chaired by Professor Byoung Chul Cho of Yonsei Cancer Centre, experts in the field of precision oncology shared insights on the diagnostic, prognostic and predictive values of tumour-derived blood biomarkers (liquid biopsy) for the management of various cancer types.
5 days ago
Case presentation: The patient is a 46-year-old Korean lady who first presented with aggravating pleuritic chest pain characterised by a stabbing pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling. A diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was made from computed tomography (CT)-guided needle aspiration biopsy, and the tumour was found to be epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive (exon 19 deletion). Chest imaging revealed the presence of left-sided pleural seeding nodules. The patient was treated with afatanib with partial response as best response. Ten months after starting treatment, the patient experienced disease progression.

NCIS adopts measures to keep staff, cancer patients COVID-19 safe

Elvira Manzano
14 Apr 2020

A  segregated team model  has been put in place by the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) to help doctors and nurses maintain care for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The model was created based on lessons learnt from the SARS epidemic in 2003. These included ensuring safety of staff from infection, allocation and re-designation of limited resources, and consideration of unique challenges posed by cancer patients.

Both clinical and non-clinical staff were segregated into two teams while physician sub-teams were confined to specific wards, outpatient, and office areas to avert exposure and cross-contamination.

Patient visits, surgeries deferred

Non-urgent patient visits and surgeries were also postponed. Instead telemedicine consults, medication delivery to homes, and online payment were encouraged. [Annals of Oncology 2020;doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2020.03.306]

Patients and visitors were screened at the hospital entrances and suspected cases were referred for treatment. Cancer patients with confirmed COVID-19 were managed in a designated ward, manned by experts that included internal medicine physicians, and given telemedicine support from haematologists and oncologists. This strategy effectively reduced the use of PPE in cancer wards.

Research and education, including cancer studies, continued in non-risk areas as well as clinical trial monitoring. Appreciation messages were shared, and group chats were encouraged to boost staff morale and facilitate information sharing.

On wearing of mask: Why the change of heart? 

In another development, the Singapore government gave away reusable face masks to all residents from April 5 to 12 through various community centres to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the island state.

“We will no longer discourage people from wearing masks,” said Singapore Prime Minister Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a recent address to the nation. “Wearing a mask may help to protect others, in case you have the virus but don’t know it. This is so that you keep your droplets to yourself. It can also protect yourself a little better, especially if you are elderly, or vulnerable because of pre-existing conditions,” said Mr Lee.
shutterstock_1643753581

Even the US Centers for Disease and Control Prevention now recommends the wearing of cloth face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The cloth masks should be worn when going out and removed by the straps to avoid touching the contaminated part. Washing the mask after each use is also recommended to remove any deposited contaminants.

The CDC, however, said the public shouldn’t let masks give them a false sense of security. The agency still recommends that people stay at least 6 feet away from others, and to practice good hand hygiene as additional safety measures.

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Most Read Articles
Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

Natalia Reoutova, 28 May 2020

Fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) cycles in combination with endocrine therapy (ET) cause metabolic changes in hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer patients analogous to those observed in animal models, where they are associated with anticancer activity.

13 Apr 2020
The inherent limitations of using tumour tissues for genomic profiling has led to the need for a more efficient, easily accessible yet accurate method of evaluating biomarkers to facilitate personalised medicine. At the ESMO Asia Colloquia chaired by Professor Byoung Chul Cho of Yonsei Cancer Centre, experts in the field of precision oncology shared insights on the diagnostic, prognostic and predictive values of tumour-derived blood biomarkers (liquid biopsy) for the management of various cancer types.
5 days ago
Case presentation: The patient is a 46-year-old Korean lady who first presented with aggravating pleuritic chest pain characterised by a stabbing pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling. A diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was made from computed tomography (CT)-guided needle aspiration biopsy, and the tumour was found to be epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive (exon 19 deletion). Chest imaging revealed the presence of left-sided pleural seeding nodules. The patient was treated with afatanib with partial response as best response. Ten months after starting treatment, the patient experienced disease progression.