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CovidNeuroOnc: A UK multicenter, prospective cohort study of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the neuro-oncology service

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Fountain, DM 
Piper, RJ 
Poon, MTC 
Solomou, G 
Brennan, PM 

Abstract

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected cancer services. Our objective was to determine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on decision making and the resulting outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent intracranial tumors.

Methods

We performed a multicenter prospective study of all adult patients discussed in weekly neuro-oncology and skull base multidisciplinary team meetings who had a newly diagnosed or recurrent intracranial (excluding pituitary) tumor between 01 April and 31 May 2020. All patients had at least 30-day follow-up data. Descriptive statistical reporting was used.

Results

There were 1357 referrals for newly diagnosed or recurrent intracranial tumors across 15 neuro-oncology centers. Of centers with all intracranial tumors, a change in initial management was reported in 8.6% of cases (n = 104/1210). Decisions to change the management plan reduced over time from a peak of 19% referrals at the start of the study to 0% by the end of the study period. Changes in management were reported in 16% (n = 75/466) of cases previously recommended for surgery and 28% of cases previously recommended for chemotherapy (n = 20/72). The reported SARS-CoV-2 infection rate was similar in surgical and non-surgical patients (2.6% vs. 2.4%, P > .9).

Conclusions

Disruption to neuro-oncology services in the UK caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was most marked in the first month, affecting all diagnoses. Patients considered for chemotherapy were most affected. In those recommended surgical treatment this was successfully completed. Longer-term outcome data will evaluate oncological treatments received by these patients and overall survival.

Description

Keywords

brain tumor, COVID-19, intracranial tumor, neurooncology, | SARS-CoV-2

Journal Title

Neuro-Oncology Advances

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1522-8517
2632-2498

Volume Title

3

Publisher

Sponsorship
Department of Health (ACF-2018-06-012)