Publications by authors named "Saheli Saha"

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Prioritizing Delivery of Cancer Treatment During a COVID-19 Lockdown: The Experience of a Clinical Oncology Service in India.

JCO Glob Oncol 2021 01;7:99-107

Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, India.

Purpose: A COVID-19 lockdown in India posed significant challenges to the continuation of radiotherapy (RT) and systemic therapy services. Although several COVID-19 service guidelines have been promulgated, implementation data are yet unavailable. We performed a comprehensive audit of the implementation of services in a clinical oncology department.

Methods: A departmental protocol of priority-based treatment guidance was developed, and a departmental staff rotation policy was implemented. Data were collected for the period of lockdown on outpatient visits, starting, and delivery of RT and systemic therapy. Adherence to protocol was audited, and factors affecting change from pre-COVID standards analyzed by multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Outpatient consults dropped by 58%. Planned RT starts were implemented in 90%, 100%, 92%, 90%, and 75% of priority level 1-5 patients. Although 17% had a deferred start, the median time to start of adjuvant RT and overall treatment times were maintained. Concurrent chemotherapy was administered in 89% of those eligible. Systemic therapy was administered to 84.5% of planned patients. However, 33% and 57% of curative and palliative patients had modifications in cycle duration or deferrals. The patient's inability to come was the most common reason for RT or ST deviation. Factors independently associated with a change from pre-COVID practice was priority-level allocation for RT and age and palliative intent for systemic therapy.

Conclusion: Despite significant access limitations, a planned priority-based system of delivery of treatment could be implemented.
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January 2021