Mary-Elizabeth Percival, MD, on Hematologic Malignancies and COVID-19

May 12, 2020

The oncology hematologist spoke about the guidelines she and her colleagues outlined regarding treating patients with hematologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Mary-Elizabeth Percival, MD, oncology hematologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center, as well as assistant professor of Hematology and Medicine at UW, spoke about the set of guidelines she and her colleagues culminated regarding treating patients with hematologic malignancies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

With Washington being the first location to see a case of COVID-19 in the US, Percival indicated that some early measures had to be taken in order to stop the spread of the virus, such as telemedicine visits in lieu of bringing the patients into the clinic. 

“We didn’t want to have our patients with hematologic malignancies, you know, kind of vying for beds with COVID-19 patients, let alone the potential risks of transmission in that kind of situation also,” Percival explained. 

In order to determine the alterations that were necessary for each specific patient group, Percival, along with her colleagues from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, put together a set of guidelines. Percival noted that these guidelines aided in addressing a plethora of concerns, given that they were culminated by a multidisciplinary group of individuals.

“Our considerations were a little bit different for our different types of hematologic malignancies, and so there were things that one or the other of us would take into account that wouldn’t necessarily have occurred to the others,” said Percival. “So, that was the genesis of the article and so we decided that we would get together the different clinical groups that care for patients and pick representatives from each of them to kind of lay out some of the considerations.” 

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences National Broadcast, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences channels.