Changes in breast cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: a Dutch population-based study: a Dutch population-based study

The NABON-COVID-19 Consortium, The COVID and Cancer Care-NL Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Purpose: We aimed to compare (1) treatments and time intervals between treatments of breast cancer patients diagnosed during and before the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the number of treatments started during and before the pandemic. Methods: Women were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. For aim one, odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated to compare the treatment of women diagnosed within four periods of 2020: pre-COVID (weeks 1–8), transition (weeks 9–12), lockdown (weeks 13–17), and care restart (weeks 18–26), with data from 2018/2019 as reference. Wilcoxon rank-sums test was used to compare treatment intervals, using a two-sided p-value < 0.05. For aim two, number of treatments started per week in 2020 was compared with 2018/2019. Results: We selected 34,097 women for aim one. Compared to 2018/2019, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy was less likely for stage I (OR 0.24, 95%CI 0.11–0.53), stage II (OR 0.63, 95%CI 0.47–0.86), and hormone receptor+/HER2− tumors (OR 0.55, 95%CI 0.41–0.75) diagnosed during transition. Time between diagnosis and first treatment decreased for patients diagnosed during lockdown with a stage I (p < 0.01), II (p < 0.01) or III tumor (p = 0.01). We selected 30,002 women for aim two. The number of neo-adjuvant endocrine therapies and surgeries starting in week 14, 2020, increased by 339% and 18%, respectively. The number of adjuvant chemotherapies decreased by 42% in week 15 and increased by 44% in week 22. Conclusion: The pandemic and subsequently altered treatment recommendations affected multiple aspects of the breast cancer treatment strategy and the number of treatments started per week.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-175
Number of pages15
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume197
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2022

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