Sameera Kumar, MD, on Treating Patients with NSCLC During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 24, 2020

The expert from the Fox Chase Cancer Center discussed a paper recently published regarding alternative multidisciplinary management options for patients with NSCLC during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An article recently published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology identified alternative multidisciplinary management options for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The overarching goals of the approaches outlined in the paper are intended to help reduce the number of visits to a healthcare facility, reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, attenuate the immunocompromising effects of lung cancer therapies, and provide effective oncologic therapy.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Sameera Kumar, MD, one of the authors on the paper and assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, spoke about the paper and the information it offers for those treating patients with COVID-19.

Kumar indicated that the recommendations encourage clinicians to follow the standard of care when possible, however the guidelines were culminated in order to assist when the standard of care may not be appropriate.

“Because we all know that locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer is aggressive, therefore necessarily waiting until a time when it’s safer to do these procedures may not be feasible,” explained Kumar.

Moving forward, Kumar suggested that though she believes we are now equipped to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously care for patients with cancer, patients with lung cancer still need to be monitored closely in the event of possible long-term effects that may occur.

“Lung cancer is an aggressive malignancy, so our recommendations for the standard of care of standard chemo, radiation, followed by immunotherapy, if resources are available, I believe will still remain the same,” Kumar said. “But I think we’ll probably need to pay more attention to the long-term effects, especially the co-infection of SARS-CoV-2 along with lung malignancies.”

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

Reference:

Kumar S, Chmura S, Robinson C, et al. Alternative Multidisciplinary Management Options for Locally Advanced NSCLC During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Global Pandemic. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2020.04.016.