COVID-19's impact on cancer research, care: 6 report findings 

Nearly 10 million cancer screenings were delayed in the U.S. from January to July 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an American Association of Cancer Research report published Feb. 9 found.

The "AACR Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care" presents current evidence on the burden of COVID-19 among cancer patients and researchers while highlighting the challenges and opportunities created by the pandemic in cancer research and patient care.

Six findings: 

  • The hospitalization rates for COVID-19 patients with cancer were higher than for COVID-19 patients without cancer, 47 percent versus 24 percent. 

  • Twenty-eight-day mortality rate in cancer patients with COVID-19 was higher than in cancer patients without COVID-19, 28 percent versus 16 percent.

  • Ninety-nine percent of cancer researchers in a recent survey said the pandemic interrupted their research and/or clinical practice.

  • Sixty four percent to 87 percent of cancer patients in a recent survey reported delays in their planned surgery during the height of the pandemic compared to delays reported before the pandemic.

  • Thirty-six percent to 51 percent of cancer centers in a recent survey reported a change in treatment plan for chemotherapeutic agents during the height of the pandemic compared to cancer patients who reported a change before the pandemic.

  • Patients diagnosed with inoperable or metastatic cancer from March through December 2020 increased by 11 percent compared to patients diagnosed in those months in 2019.

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