The global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic continues to escalate at a rapid pace inundating medical facilities and creating substantial challenges globally. The risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in patients with cancer seems to be higher, especially as they are more likely to present with an immunocompromised condition, either from cancer itself or from the treatments they receive. A major consideration in the delivery of cancer care during the pandemic is to balance the risk of patient exposure and infection with the need to provide effective cancer treatment. Many aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection currently remain poorly characterized and even less is known about the course of infection in the context of a patient with cancer. As SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious, the risk of infection directly affects the cancer patient being treated, other cancer patients in close proximity, and health care providers. Infection at any level for patients or providers can cause considerable disruption to even the most effective treatment plans. Lung cancer patients, especially those with reduced lung function and cardiopulmonary comorbidities are more likely to have increased risk and mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 as one of its common manifestations is as an acute respiratory illness. The purpose of this manuscript is to present a practical multidisciplinary and international overview to assist in treatment for lung cancer patients during this pandemic, with the caveat that evidence is lacking in many areas. It is expected that firmer recommendations can be developed as more evidence becomes available.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine