• Users Online: 463
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 7-12

The pattern of care in head-and-neck cancer: Comparison between before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Kumar Prabhash
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_161_20

Get Permissions

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to a redistribution of the medical resources. However, there are limited data on the treatment patterns in head-and-neck cancer during this pandemic. Therefore, this study was aimed at comparing the pattern of care in head-and-neck cancer before and during the pandemic. Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients visiting the adult medical head-and-neck cancer unit of our hospital, between February 01, 2020, and April 15, 2020. The patients were divided for analysis into three groups: pre-COVID (February 01, 2020–February 29, 2020), start-COVID (March 01, 2020–March 31, 2020), and established-COVID (April 01, 2020–April 15, 2020). The patient footfalls, baseline characteristics, and pattern of treatment during the three time periods were compared. A two-sided P = 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The number of patients in the pre-COVID, start-COVID, and established-COVID time periods was 219, 281, and 57, respectively. The median number of footfalls per working day in the pre-COVID, start-COVID, and established-COVID time periods was 84 (interquartile range [IQR], 70.5–89), 47 (IQR, 41.25–57.75), and 24 (IQR, 22.5–28), respectively (P = 0.000). There was no difference in the tumor-related baseline characteristics. In patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the proportion of patients receiving the three-drug regimen was lowest in the established-COVID period (29.3% vs. 35.9% vs. 7.7%, respectively; P = 0.000). There was no difference in the pattern of selection of concurrent radio-sensitizing agents (P = 0.779). In patients receiving palliative treatment, the proportion of those receiving oral metronomic chemotherapy was higher in the established-COVID period than that in the pre-COVID and start-COVID periods (47.4% vs. 34.3% vs. 69.2%, respectively; P = 0.192). Conclusion: The early trend suggests that the number of patients visiting the hospital has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The treatment pattern during the pandemic may be different for palliative regimens and neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded111    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal