"Door to Treatment" Outcomes of Cancer Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ak N., Vatansever S.

CHEMOTHERAPY, vol.65, no.5-6, pp.141-146, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 5-6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000511884
  • Journal Name: CHEMOTHERAPY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-146
  • Keywords: Chemotherapy, Coronavirus, Novel coronavirus disease 2019, Oncology clinics, Outcome, Quality of life, Quality of service
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 has become a worldwide threat. We aimed to explore reflections of these unexpected changes to newly diagnosed cancer patients. Method: We searched the 2 months after the index case of our country. The first admission day and the first day of intravenous treatment of newly diagnosed patients were recorded. Results: In the 60 days measured during the pandemic, the total number of patients on polyclinics was 159/weekdays, and the total applied chemotherapy cycles were 276/week. For comparison, the total numbers in the previous year were 267/weekday and 363/week for polyclinic and applied chemotherapy cycles, respectively. The total number of newly admitted patients in 2020 was 283. For comparison, the number of new patients in the same 60-day period in 2019 was 495. Patients who were admitted for adjuvant treatment required a median of 8 days for the first course, those who were admitted for neoadjuvant treatment required 12 days, and metastatic patients required 14 days; there were no significant differences between treatment types (p = 0.233). However, the median treatment time was 11.5 and 17 days, in 2020 and in 2019, respectively. A significant difference was observed between the 2 groups (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The effective shift of workers and accurate regulations have not resulted in apparent delays in patient care. While a decrease in the number of patients has detected, faster healthcare service was introduced to newly diagnosed patients. The reason for the decrease in the number of patients should be investigated with new studies.