Martin Reck co-authors ESMO position paper on lung cancer therapy during the covid-19 pandemic

Oncologists face challenges during covid-19: How can they protect patients, cancer practitioners and nurses from corona infection? How does therapy interfere with a possible or already existing infection? What can they do, if resources get scarce?

Answers to these questions are given by an international expert panel of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). Their article – co-authored by Prof. Martin Reck (LungenClinic Grosshansdorf) – appeared only recently in ESMO Open. It deals with diagnosis, therapy as well as follow-up of lung cancer during corona.

The authors write that a multi-factorial prioritisation has to be done. It depends on the treatment of cancer on the one hand and the risk of corona infection on the other. Patients with life-threatening cancer have to get immediate therapy. This could be the case with rapidly growing small cell lung cancer or advanced metastatic tumors. If patients are stable or theirs tumors show no progression, further parameters have to be considered. One is the protection from corona infection. Oncologists should also think about possibly immunosuppressive influences of a therapy.

Follow-up can easily supported by telemedicine. Multi-disciplinary tumor boards should go on discussing cases, but switch to digital platforms.

In some places all health care forces had to be focused on covid-19 treatment. In Germany, this occurred only rarely. Therefore lung cancer therapy was and is still possible under the conditions detailed in the position paper – for the safety of patients as well as for their doctors and nurses.


Source and further information: Passaro A, Addeo A, Von Garnier C, Blackhall F, Planchard D, Felip E, Dziadziuszko R, de Marinis F, Reck M, Bouchaab H, Peters S (2020) ESMO Management and treatment adapted recommendations in the COVID-19 era: Lung cancer. ESMO Open 5: e000820 

Link to the article


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