Please note that the content below is no longer being updated but was accurate at the time of posting, September 17, 2021. ASCO is maintaining member access to this information for historical reference purposes only.
CancerLinQ is monitoring COVID diagnoses among active cancer patients in our database of 1.5 million total cancer patients from participating organizations. COVID disease is being detected by searching for positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and/or diagnosis of COVID disease and/or diagnosis of viral pneumonia not attributed to known agents. These cases have been characterized by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and cancer diagnosis. In addition, we have provided similar distributions for all active cancer patients from the sites that are reporting COVID disease (“Baseline Cases”) for purposes of comparing the COVID-infected cancer population with the non-infected patient populations at the same sites.
Visit the CancerLinQ website to access this series of reports.
To complement the clinical data gathered by CancerLinQ, ASCO’s PracticeNET program has compiled data on practice activity from its benchmarking collaborative. Starting in March 2020, a group of 37 practices has shared data in order to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on practice operations.
Observations from this data include:
- Starting the week of March 15, 2020, there was a 30% decrease in total visit activity, including new patient visits, established patient visits, and hospital visits.
- In-office established patient visits have increased to pre-COVID-19 levels, with significant fluctuations.
- New patient and consultation visits decreased in March 2020 and have maintained at approximately 70%-80% of pre-COVID-19 rates through July 2020; new patient and consultation visits increased to near pre-COVID-19 rates, but there has yet to be evidence of any surge in visits to make up for those lost in the Spring and Summer of last year.
- Telemedicine visits represented 24% of total office/outpatient visits in April 2020 and have declined to 4-6% of visits in recent months.
- While chemotherapy infusion visits have not significantly changed, there was a decrease in non-chemotherapy infusion visits throughout March and April of 2020, which may have since recovered in early June.
The ASCO Registry has also recently compiled results (Mileham et al, JCO Oncol Pract) on COVID-19 severity and mortality for cancer patients. Included was a conclusion that 30- and 90-day mortality in cancer patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection improved throughout 2020, likely related to improved clinical management. This article has been accepted for publication in JCO Oncology Practice.
Other Data Insights
ASCO’s JCO® Clinical Cancer Informatics (JCO® CCI) features content from applied clinical informatics to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. JCO CCI recently published “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer-Related Patient Encounters” (London, et al.), which explores cancer-related patient encounters in the COVID and Cancer Research Network, along with comparative data from a United Kingdom institution. Also accepted for publication, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care: How the pandemic is delaying cancer diagnosis and treatment for American Seniors” (Patt, et al.) found significant decreases in screening, visits, therapy, and surgeries from April through July 2020.