NVvH voor leden

Verkrijg hier toegang tot exclusieve NVvH ledencontent.

08 april 2020

Cancer guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic - The Lancet Oncology (news)

02-04-2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30217-5 
By: Talha Khan Burki

Describe the impact of COVID-19 on oncological treatment


  • COVID-19 greatly impact oncological treatment
  • For each patient risks and benefits of continuing or postponing treatment should be considered in MDT’s. 


  • Elective surgery is suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. In oncology this could lead to tumour progression, obstruction or metastasis. 
  • ESMO is offering guidance and training for medical oncologists on how to manage patients during the pandemic. 
    • More telemedical services
    • Reduca clinic visits
    • Switch to subcutaneous and oral therapies rather than i.v.
  • Oncological patients are more prone to infections (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy of the lung, immunosuppressive blood cancer)
  • Clinicians should consider for each patient the risks and benefits. On the one hand, a patient might be at high risk of contracting the infection and dying from it; on the other hand, the patient might be at high risk of the cancer progressing or causing death if it is not treated appropriately.
  • MDT’s are more important than ever
  • Stem cell donors will be less available due to infection of the host and travel restrictions