Special Issue "Cancer Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic"

A special issue of Journal of Personalized Medicine (ISSN 2075-4426). This special issue belongs to the section "Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Franco M. Buonaguro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Molecular Biology and Viral Oncology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione Pascale, 80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: oncology; molecular biology; virology; biochemistry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Attilio AM Bianchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ist Nazl Tumori, IRCCS, Fdn G Pascale, I-80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: Health Management; Public Health; Health Planning; Oncology; Oncological Networks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic, which presented a greater risk of severe morbidity in older and fragile patients, resulted in higher mortality for people with chronic diseases (particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and cancer, highlighting the weakness of many welfare systems all over the world.

Most responsive cancer institutes have had to redesign their strategies to continue their activities. In particular, new therapeutic protocols and follow-up procedures have been implemented. Patients have had to be carefully evaluated to plan the optimal personalized treatment and to adopt the most appropriate therapeutic strategies, including telemedicine and digital monitoring. Healthcare professionals have had to be monitored for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 using genetic/antigen diagnostic kits and serological tests and, most recently, have been vaccinated with one of the several—not yet fully studied—available vaccines.

Furthermore, general management and planning aspects have also had to be reorganized, with particular attention to the triage of patients for access to day hospital or day surgery sections, outpatient clinics, and clinical wards.

This Special Issue welcomes papers on all clinical topics related to COVID-19 and cancer, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Molecular characterization of SARS-CoV-2 to identify and monitor variants for pathogenicity;
  • Immunology, molecular, and systems biology studies for vaccine evaluation in fragile patients;
  • Changes in therapeutic strategies for cancer patients to reduce frequency of hospital access;
  • Long-term efficacy (i.e., overall survival and disease-free interval) of cancer treatment changes;
  • Preclinical and clinical studies to identify effective molecules (innovative molecules or repurposing drugs) for the treatment of COVID-19 in cancer patients;
  • Innovative health management that is more effective and more quickly adaptable to unpredictable emerging conditions.

Dr. Franco M. Buonaguro
Dr. Attilio AM Bianchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Personalized Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Cancer management and treatment changes
  • Telemedicine
  • Home monitoring
  • COVID-19 prevention and treatment in cancer patients

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Article
Special Attention to Physical Activity in Breast Cancer Patients during the First Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: The DianaWeb Cohort
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(5), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11050381 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Recent evidence highlights that physical activity (PA) is associated with decreased recurrence risk, improved survival and quality of life for breast cancer (BC) patients. Our study aimed to explore patterns of increased/decreased PA, and sedentary behaviors among BC women of the DianaWeb cohort [...] Read more.
Recent evidence highlights that physical activity (PA) is associated with decreased recurrence risk, improved survival and quality of life for breast cancer (BC) patients. Our study aimed to explore patterns of increased/decreased PA, and sedentary behaviors among BC women of the DianaWeb cohort during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, and examined the association with residential locations, work changes, different modality used to increase PA, and quality of life. The study analyzed the questionnaires completed by the 781 BC women (age 54.68 ± 8.75 years on both December 2019 and June 2020. Results showed a decrease of 22%, 57%, and 26% for walking activity, vigorous activity, and total PA, respectively. Sitting/lying time increased up to 54.2% of the subjects recruited. High quality of life was associated with lower odds of being sedentary (p = 0.003). Our findings suggest that innovative health management fostering compliance with current guidelines for PA and active behavior should be implemented, especially in unpredictable emergency conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Breast Cancer Screening during COVID-19 Emergency: Patients and Department Management in a Local Experience
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(5), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11050380 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Background: During the COVID-19 public health emergency, our breast cancer screening activities have been interrupted. In June 2020, they resumed, calling for mandatory safe procedures to properly manage patients and staff. Methods: A protocol supporting medical activities in breast cancer screening was created, [...] Read more.
Background: During the COVID-19 public health emergency, our breast cancer screening activities have been interrupted. In June 2020, they resumed, calling for mandatory safe procedures to properly manage patients and staff. Methods: A protocol supporting medical activities in breast cancer screening was created, based on six relevant articles published in the literature and in the following National and International guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. The patient population, consisting of both screening and breast ambulatory patients, was classified into one of four categories: 1. Non-COVID-19 patient; 2. Confirmed COVID-19 in an asymptomatic screening patient; 3. suspected COVID-19 in symptomatic or confirmed breast cancer; 4. Confirmed COVID-19 in symptomatic or confirmed breast cancer. The day before the radiological exam, patients are screened for COVID-19 infection through a telephone questionnaire. At a subsequent in person appointment, the body temperature is checked and depending on the clinical scenario at stake, the scenario-specific procedures for medical and paramedical staff are adopted. Results: In total, 203 mammograms, 76 breast ultrasound exams, 4 core needle biopsies, and 6 vacuum-assisted breast biopsies were performed in one month. Neither medical nor paramedical staff were infected on any of these occasions. Conclusion: Our department organization model can represent a case of implementation of National and International guidelines applied in a breast cancer screening program, assisting hospital personnel into COVID-19 infection prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Cerebral Vasoreactivity Evaluated by Transcranial Color Doppler and Breath-Holding Test in Patients after SARS-CoV-2 Infection
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(5), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11050379 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
From the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, it was clear that the virus is highly neurotrophic. Neurological manifestations can range from nonspecific symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and olfactory disturbances to severe forms of neurological dysfunction. Some neurological complication can occur even [...] Read more.
From the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, it was clear that the virus is highly neurotrophic. Neurological manifestations can range from nonspecific symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and olfactory disturbances to severe forms of neurological dysfunction. Some neurological complication can occur even after mild forms of respiratory disease. This study’s aims were to assess cerebrovascular reactivity in patients with nonspecific neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. A total of 25 patients, aged 33–62 years, who had nonspecific neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as 25 healthy participants in the control group, were assessed for cerebrovascular reactivity according to transcranial color Doppler (TCCD) which we combined with a breath-holding test (BHT). In subjects after SARS-CoV-2 infection, there were statistically significantly lower flow velocities through the middle cerebral artery at rest period, lower maximum velocities at the end of the breath-holding period and lower breath holding index (BHI) in relation to the control group. Changes in cerebral artery flow rate velocities indicate poor cerebral vasoreactivity in the group after SARS-CoV-2 infection in regard to the control group and suggest vascular endothelial damage by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic)

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Case Report
A Rare Case of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Temporally Associated to the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(4), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11040285 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Globally, at the time of writing (20 March 2021), 121.759.109 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported to the WHO, including 2.690.731 deaths. Globally, on 18 March 2021, a total of 364.184.603 vaccine doses have been administered. In Italy, 3.306.711 confirmed COVID-19 cases with [...] Read more.
Globally, at the time of writing (20 March 2021), 121.759.109 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported to the WHO, including 2.690.731 deaths. Globally, on 18 March 2021, a total of 364.184.603 vaccine doses have been administered. In Italy, 3.306.711 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 103.855 deaths have been reported to WHO. In Italy, on 9 March 2021, a total of 6.634.450 vaccine doses have been administered. On 15 March 2021, Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) decided to temporarily suspend the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country as a precaution, pending the rulings of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This decision was taken in line with similar measures adopted by other European countries due to the death of vaccinated people. On 18 March 2021, EMA’s safety committee concluded its preliminary review about thromboembolic events in people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca at its extraordinary meeting, confirming the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risk of side effects, however, the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e., low levels of blood platelets with or without bleeding, including rare cases of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). We report the case of a 54-year-old woman who developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) with multi-district thrombosis 12 days after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration. A brain computed tomography (CT) scan showed multiple subacute intra-axial hemorrhages in atypical locations, including the right frontal and the temporal lobes. A plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA) of the right coronary artery was performed, without stent implantation, with restoration of distal flow, but with persistence of extensive thrombosis of the vessel. A successive thorax angio-CT added the findings of multiple contrast filling defects with multi-vessel involvement: at the level of the left upper lobe segmental branches, of left interlobar artery, of the right middle lobe segmental branches and of the right interlobar artery. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the same day showed the presence of an acute basilar thrombosis associated with the superior sagittal sinus thrombosis. An abdomen angio-CT showed filling defects at the level of left portal branch and at the level of right suprahepatic vein. Bilaterally, it was adrenal hemorrhage and blood in the pelvis. An evaluation of coagulation factors did not show genetic alterations so as the nasopharyngeal swab ruled out a COVID-19 infection. The patient died after 5 days of hospitalization in intensive care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic)
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