Clinical analysis of COVID-19 positive cancer inpatients in National Cancer Center in Serbia

  • Aleksandar Stepanović Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9556-974X
  • Tatjana Arsenijevic Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7531-7948
  • Vesna Stankovic Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9714-1891
  • Vukac Vujanac Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9595-9932
  • Anja Lazovic Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6969-4424
  • Tanja Raonic-Stevanovic Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5138-7589
  • Marina Nikitovic Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7272-9587
Keywords: COVID-19, Infection, Cancer, Radiotherapy

Abstract

Introduction: The outbreak of COVID-19 has had an impact on global healthcare as well as on radiotherapy practice in many countries. This study aimed to identify clinical characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infected cancer inpatients, as well as what impact this infection had on radiation treatment of the patients.

Methodology: In this retrospective study, we included cancer inpatients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection during the radiotherapy or chemoradiation in April 2020 in National Cancer Research Center in Serbia. Data were obtained from the medical records between 1 April and 1 July 2020.

Results: A total of 49 COVID-19 infected cancer inpatients were included. The most frequently reported cancers were head and neck cancers, in twenty-three patients (46.8%). Lymphopenia was present in 77.5% of the patients. Red blood cells, haemoglobin and platelets were significantly lower during incubation or diagnosis of COVID-19. Twenty-seven (55.1%) patients did not finish radiotherapy. The age of patients who finished radiotherapy after COVID-19 infection was significantly lower compared to the patients who did not finish radiotherapy (60.5 ± 7.8 vs. 68.6 ± 11.2; p < 0.005).

Conclusions: COVID-19 infected cancer patients in radiotherapy practice show similar symptoms and demographic characteristics as the general population infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Patients with head and neck cancers may be susceptible to infection with COVID-19. Old age and male gender may be risk factors for discontinuation of radiotherapy in COVID-19 infected cancer patients.

Author Biographies

Tatjana Arsenijevic, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia

MD, PhD, Associate Professor

Vesna Stankovic, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia

MD, PhD, Research Associate

Vukac Vujanac, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia

MD

Marina Nikitovic, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Department of Radiation Oncology, Belgrade, Serbia

MD, PhD, Professor in Oncology and Radiology

Deputy Director for Research and Education

Clinical Director, Department for Radiotherapy of Solid Tumors

 

Published
2021-09-30
How to Cite
1.
Stepanović A, Arsenijevic T, Stankovic V, Vujanac V, Lazovic A, Raonic-StevanovicT, Nikitovic M (2021) Clinical analysis of COVID-19 positive cancer inpatients in National Cancer Center in Serbia. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:1286-1292. doi: 10.3855/jidc.15104
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic