Introduction Even if now we have available the weapon of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the patients with cancer remains a very frail population in which frequently the immunologic response to vaccination may be impaired. In this setting, the SARS-CoV-2 infection screening retains a great value. However, there are still limited data on the feasibility and efficacy of combined screening procedures to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (including asymptomatic cases) in cancer outpatients undergoing antineoplastic therapy. Patients and results From May 1, 2020, to June 15, 2020, during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 860 consecutive patients, undergoing active anticancer therapy, were evaluated and tested for SARS-CoV-2 with a combined screening procedure, including a self-report questionnaire, a molecular nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and a rapid serological immunoassay (for anti- SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies). The primary endpoint of the study was to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (including asymptomatic cases) in consecutive and unselected cancer outpatients by a combined screening modality. A total of 2955 SARSCoV- 2 NPS and 860 serological tests, in 475 patients with hematologic cancers and in 386 with solid tumors, were performed. A total of 112 (13%) patients self-reported symptoms potentially COVID-19 related. In 1/860 cases (< 1%) SARS-CoV-2 NPS was positive and in 14 cases (1.62%) the specific serological test was positive (overall prevalence of SARSCoV-2 infection 1.62%). Of the 112 cases who declared symptoms potentially COVID-19- related, only 2.7% (3/112) were found SARS-CoV-2 positive. Conclusions This is the largest study reporting the feasibility of a combined screening procedure (including triage, NPS and serologic test) to evaluate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer patients receiving active therapy, during the first epidemic wave and under the restrictive lockdown measures, in one of the active areas of the SARS-CoV-2 circulation. Lacking specific recommendations for the detection of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases, a combined diagnostic screening might be more effective to detect the exact prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in neoplastic patient population. The prevalence can obviously change according to the territorial context, the entity of the restrictive measures adopted and the phase of the epidemic curve. However, its exact and real-time knowledge could be important to balance risks/benefits of oncologic treatments, avoiding (if the prevalence is low) the reduction of dose intensity or the selection of less intensive (but also less effective) anti-cancer therapies.

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in 860 cancer patients with a combined screening procedure including triage, molecular nasopharyngeal swabs and rapid serological test. A report from the first epidemic wave

Petruzzellis G.;Andreotti V.;Giavarra M.;Corvaja C.;Tascini C.;Fanin R.;
2022

Abstract

Introduction Even if now we have available the weapon of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the patients with cancer remains a very frail population in which frequently the immunologic response to vaccination may be impaired. In this setting, the SARS-CoV-2 infection screening retains a great value. However, there are still limited data on the feasibility and efficacy of combined screening procedures to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (including asymptomatic cases) in cancer outpatients undergoing antineoplastic therapy. Patients and results From May 1, 2020, to June 15, 2020, during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 860 consecutive patients, undergoing active anticancer therapy, were evaluated and tested for SARS-CoV-2 with a combined screening procedure, including a self-report questionnaire, a molecular nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and a rapid serological immunoassay (for anti- SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies). The primary endpoint of the study was to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (including asymptomatic cases) in consecutive and unselected cancer outpatients by a combined screening modality. A total of 2955 SARSCoV- 2 NPS and 860 serological tests, in 475 patients with hematologic cancers and in 386 with solid tumors, were performed. A total of 112 (13%) patients self-reported symptoms potentially COVID-19 related. In 1/860 cases (< 1%) SARS-CoV-2 NPS was positive and in 14 cases (1.62%) the specific serological test was positive (overall prevalence of SARSCoV-2 infection 1.62%). Of the 112 cases who declared symptoms potentially COVID-19- related, only 2.7% (3/112) were found SARS-CoV-2 positive. Conclusions This is the largest study reporting the feasibility of a combined screening procedure (including triage, NPS and serologic test) to evaluate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer patients receiving active therapy, during the first epidemic wave and under the restrictive lockdown measures, in one of the active areas of the SARS-CoV-2 circulation. Lacking specific recommendations for the detection of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases, a combined diagnostic screening might be more effective to detect the exact prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in neoplastic patient population. The prevalence can obviously change according to the territorial context, the entity of the restrictive measures adopted and the phase of the epidemic curve. However, its exact and real-time knowledge could be important to balance risks/benefits of oncologic treatments, avoiding (if the prevalence is low) the reduction of dose intensity or the selection of less intensive (but also less effective) anti-cancer therapies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1220669
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