Prioritize Lung Cancer Patients for COVID-19 Testing, Physicians Recommend

Sharon Worcester

April 22, 2020

Increasing Awareness: A Registry and Guidelines

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"In the era of COVID-19, the optimal management of patients with lung cancer remains unknown, and the oncology community should have increased awareness to prevent the emergence of an increase in cancer-related and infectious mortality," Dr. Passaro and colleagues wrote.

To that end, a novel global registry (TERAVOLT) has been launched and is collecting data worldwide with an aim of developing a tailored risk assessment strategy for lung cancer patients. The authors noted that developing international consensus with respect to COVID-19 testing in lung cancer is essential for achieving that goal.

The European Society for Medical Oncology recently released guidelines for treating lung cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those guidelines do not include recommendations on COVID-19 testing.

"Baseline SARS-CoV-2 testing for all patients affected by lung cancer should be recommended," Dr. Passaro and colleagues wrote. "In addition, for those patients with a negative swab test and new ground glass opacities detected on CT scan, with or without new respiratory symptoms, bronchoscopy should be considered to increase testing sensitivity."

This work was partially supported by the Italian Ministry of Health. The authors reported having no relevant conflicts of interest. Dr. West is a regular correspondent for Medscape, which is owned by the same parent company as MDedge.

SOURCE: Passaro A et al. Annals of Oncology. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2020.04.002.

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