Delay in sarcoma diagnosis, not treatment, seen during pandemic

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During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a delay in sarcoma diagnosis but not treatment, according to a new study, which also noted no difference in survival has been observed.

In this retrospective study, data from 185 patients with histological diagnosis of soft tissue or bone sarcoma and aggressive benign musculoskeletal diseases obtained during the first year of the pandemic (Covid group, n = 93) or the year before (control group, n = 92), was analyzed.

Soft tissue sarcoma was the most common sarcoma type, affecting 63% in the Covid group and 66.7% in the control group.

In the Covid group there was a diagnostic delay with a median time from the first symptom to the definitive histological diagnosis of 103 days compared with 90 days in the control group. A delay in treatment and in stage at diagnosis were not observed between groups.

In the subgroup of patients with soft tissue sarcoma, progression-free survival and overall survival were comparable.

Onesti CE, Vari S, Nardozza F, et al. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosis and treatment of patients with soft tissue and bone sarcomas or aggressive benign musculoskeletal diseases: A single-center retrospective study (SarCorD study). Front Oncol. 2022 Sep 20;12:1000056. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.1000056. PMID: 36249051; PMCID: PMC9559379.