Did lockdowns effect planned surgery in patients with solid cancers?
Have short-term oncological outcomes been impacted and how will delays in surgery change long-term reductions in survival?
In this international, prospective, cohort study, 20 006 adult patients with cancer who were eligible for curative surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. Patients were followed until the surgery occurred or the end of the follow-up period (August 21, 2020).
Overall, 10% of patients (2003) did not undergo surgery after a median follow-up of 23 weeks due to a COVID-19-related reason. Pandemic-related light restrictions, moderate lockdowns, and full lockdowns were associated with non-operation rates of 0.6%, 5.5%, and 15.0%, respectively. In sensitivity analyses, which accounted for SARS-CoV-2 case notification rates, moderate and full lockdowns remained independently associated with non-operation.
Surgery occurring 12 weeks after diagnosis increased during lockdown in patients who were not undergoing neoadjuvant therapy. No difference in resectability rates was observed with longer delays
COVIDSurg Collaborative. Effect of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on planned cancer surgery for 15 tumour types in 61 countries: an international, prospective, cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2021;:S1470-2045(21)00493-9. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00493-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34624250; PMCID: PMC8492020.