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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 329

Authors' reply to Agasty et al.

1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, New Delhi, India
2 Division of Infectious Diseases, Apollo Cancer Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-May-2020
Date of Decision11-May-2020
Date of Acceptance20-May-2020
Date of Web Publication19-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
K Abdul Ghafur
Apollo Cancer Institute, 320, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 035, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_190_20

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How to cite this article:
Bansal N, Ghafur K A. Authors' reply to Agasty et al. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:329

How to cite this URL:
Bansal N, Ghafur K A. Authors' reply to Agasty et al. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 3];3:329. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/2/329/287236

We are grateful to Agasty et al. for showing interest in our commentary, and we highly appreciate the points raised by them.[1],[2] The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an evolving issue, and with each day, we learn new things about the disease and change the management accordingly. Cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy pose a unique challenge with regard to infection control because of their cyclical nature.[3] Moreover, most centers in India are not equipped with dedicated single rooms for these services and depend on daycare wards which are shared between many patients for their cyclical oncology needs. It would be ideal if we knew the COVID-19 status of a patient who enters the daycare facility, both from the infection control and clinical perspective; however, unfortunately, the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests that are currently used have the disadvantages of long turnaround time (24–48 h) and poor sensitivity.[4] The performance of serological tests is yet to be evaluated in the immunocompromised hosts. Further, patients with cancer may not manifest the typical clinical features of COVID-19, and in a few subsets of patients (like patients with lung cancer), it may be very difficult to delineate respiratory symptoms.[5]

Considering the above limitations of the laboratory and clinical methods to differentiate patients with cancer with and without COVID-19, we suggest combining both the methods – strict clinical surveillance and testing at the lowest threshold. We would also like to emphasize that as no method is perfect, it is better to adopt good infection control practices in the day care settings, such as good hand hygiene, adequate bed spacing, adequate ventilation, regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, universal masking, and appropriate personal protective equipment for all health-care workers.[6]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Agasty S, Vora CS. Prevention is better than cure. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:328.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Bansal N, Ghafur A. COVID-19 in oncology settings. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:13.  Back to cited text no. 2
Noronha V, Behel V. Catch-22: COVID versus Cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
Wang W, Xu Y, Gao R, Lu R, Han K, Wu G, et al. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in different types of clinical specimens. JAMA 2020;323:1843-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Menon N, Noronha V, Joshi A, Patil V, Prabhash K. Systemic therapy for thoracic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:29-34.  Back to cited text no. 5
Srivastava P, Tilak TV, Patel A, Das CK, Biswas B, Mahindru S, et al. Advisory for cancer patients during the COVIDpandemic. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:145-8.  Back to cited text no. 6


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