This article was originally published here
Korean J Intern Med. 2021 Oct 21. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2021.186. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Relatively little data are available on how the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected treatment outcomes in patients receiving chemotherapy for lymphoma or multiple myeloma. We aimed to determine the effect of COVID-19 countermeasures on treatment outcomes in this patient population.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data on patients treated for lymphoma or multiple myeloma in two tertiary hospitals in Seoul. Patients were divided into two groups: group 1 included patients who received chemotherapy between September and December 2019 (the control period), and group 2 included patients who received chemotherapy between September and December 2020 (the study period). Countermeasures to COVID-19 were applied to the patients in group 2. The countermeasures implemented included mask wearing and regular handwashing at home and in hospital; COVID-19 risk assessments on all hospital visitors; and pre-emptive COVID-19 screening for all newly hospitalized patients and their resident guardians.
RESULTS: No differences in treatment outcomes, including treatment response, incidence and duration of neutropenia or neutropenic fever, delays in chemotherapy, or number of deaths during chemotherapy, were observed between the g roups. None of the patients in group 2 tested positive for COVID-19, and there were no COVID-19-related deaths during the study period.
CONCLUSIONS: Countermeasures to COVID-19 did not affect treatment outcomes in patients receiving chemotherapy for lymphoma or multiple myeloma. Data on the effect of countermeasures to COVID-19 on treatment outcomes should continue to be analyzed to ensure that treatment outcomes are not adversely affected.