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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-81

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (COVID-19) infection and its impact on cancer patients receiving radiation therapy: Prevalence, protection, and clinical effects

Department of Medicine, Radiotherapy Section, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Umbarkar Prakash
Department of Medicine, Radiotherapy Section, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrcr.jrcr_52_20

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Introduction: COVID-19 illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. It had an overwhelming effect on health-care delivery in India. We report the 5 months, April–September 2020, experience in our radiotherapy (RT) department. Methods: Since April–September 2020, we registered 184 cancer patients with various site diseases for RT/chemoradiation treatment for curative/palliative therapy. Preregistration and weekly once during treatment period all underwent throat/nasopharynx swab testing with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Dedicated infection prophylaxis was carried for patients and staff. Results: Of the 184 patients, 10.9% (20/184) swab results were positive for SARS-CoV-2. With appropriate COVID-19 care and quarantine, 18 patients completed the planned RT. Two died with COVID-19 infection illness and progressive locoregional cancer. We observed no excess acute RT/chemoradiation effects in this group due to infection. Conclusions: Our 5-month experience in this COVID-19 pandemic period reveals that RT treatment, COVID-19 care, and quarantine can be done with dedicated infection protective measures.

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