“Swords and Shields” against COVID-19 for patients with cancer at “clean” and “pandemic” hospitals: are we ready for the second wave?

Karacin C., Acar R., Bal O., Eren T., ŞENDUR M. A. N. , Acikgoz Y., ...More

Supportive Care in Cancer, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00520-021-06001-6
  • Title of Journal : Supportive Care in Cancer


© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature.Purpose: COVID-19 will continue to disrupt the diagnosis-treatment process of cancer patients. Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Hospital has been considered as a ‘non-pandemic’ center (‘clean’) in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The other state hospitals that also take care of cancer patients in Ankara were defined as ‘pandemic’ centers. This study aimed to evaluate hospital admission changes and the precautionary measures in clean and pandemic centers during the pandemic. The effect of these measures and changes on COVID-19 spreading among cancer patients was also evaluated. Methods: The patients admitted to the medical oncology follow-up, new diagnosis, or chemotherapy (CT) outpatient clinics during the first quarter of pandemic period (March 15–June 1, 2020) of each center were determined and compared with the admissions of the same frame of previous year (March 15–June 1, 2019). COVID-19 PCR test results in clean and pandemic centers were compared with each other. Telemedicine was preffered in the clean hospital to keep on follow-up of the cancer patients as ‘noninfected’. Results: In the clean hospital, COVID-19-infected patients that needed to be hospitalized were referred to pandemic hospitals. COVID-19 test positivity rate was eight-fold higher for outpatient clinic admissions in pandemic hospitals (p < 0.001). The number of patients admitted new diagnosis outpatient clinics in both clean and pandemic hospitals decreased significantly during the pandemic compared with the previous year. Conclusion: We consider that local strategic modifications and defining ‘clean’ hospital model during infectious pandemic may contribute to protect and treat cancer patients during pandemic.