Publicaciones científicas

Patient care and access to clinical trials in gynaecological oncology: global implications of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

05-jun-2024 | Revista: Archives of Gynecologic and Obstetrics

Sara Nasser  1 , Christina Fotopoulou  2   3 , Murat Gültekin  4 , Desislava Dimitrova  2 , Esra Bilir  5   6 , Gülhan Inci  2 , Philippe Morice  7 , Mansoor Raza Mirza  8 , Antonio Gonzalez Martin  9 , Jonathan Berek  10 , Jalid Sehouli  2 ; Collaborating Groups: European Network for Gynaecological Oncology Trials (ENGOT), European Society for Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO), Gynecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG), Pan-Arabian Research Society for Gynecological Oncology (PARSGO), North-East German Gynecological Oncology Society (NOGGO)

Purpose: Our prospective international survey evaluated the impact of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management gynaecological malignancies from the multidisciplinary physicians' perspective with particular focus on clinical infrastructures and trial participation.

Methods: Our survey consisted of 53 COVID-related questions. It was sent to healthcare professionals in gynaecological oncology centres across Europe and Pan-Arabian region via the study groups and gynaecological societies from April 2020 to October 2020. All healthcare professionals treating gynaecological cancers were able to participate in our survey.

Results: A total of 255 answers were collected from 30 countries. The majority (73%) of participants were gynaecological oncologists from university hospitals (71%) with at least an Intensive Care Unit with cardiopulmonary support available at their institutions. Most institutions continued to perform elective surgeries only for oncological cases (98%). Patients had to wait on average 2 weeks longer for their surgery appointments compared to previous years (range 0-12 weeks). Most cases that were prioritised for surgical intervention across all gynaecological tumours were early-stage disease (74%), primary situation (61%) and good ECOG status (63%). The radicality of surgery did not change in the majority of cases (78%) across all tumour types. During the pandemic, only 38% of clinicians stated they would start a new clinical trial. Almost half of the participants stated the pandemic negatively impacted the financial structure and support for clinical trials. Approximately 20% of clinicians did not feel well-informed regarding clinical algorithm for COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. Thirty percent stated that they are currently having trouble in providing adequate medical care due to staff shortage.

Conclusion: Despite well-established guidelines, pandemic clearly affected clinical research and patientcare. Our survey underlines the necessity for building robust emergency algorithms tailored to gynaecological oncology to minimise negative impact in crises and to preserve access to clinical trials.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2024 Jun 5.  doi: 10.1007/s00404-024-07511-4