Urgent considerations for the neuro-oncologic treatment of patients with gliomas during the COVID-19 pandemic
Oxford University Press -- Neuro-Oncology
DOI 10.1093/neuonc/noaa090
  1. adult glioma
  2. COVID-19
  3. pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak is posing unprecedented risks and challenges for all communities and health care systems, worldwide. There are unique considerations for many adult patients with gliomas who are vulnerable to the novel coronavirus due to older age and immunosuppression. As patients with terminal illnesses, they present ethical challenges for centers that may need to ration access to ventilator care due to insufficient critical care capacity. It is urgent for the neuro-oncology community to develop a proactive and coordinated approach to the care of adults with gliomas in order to provide them with the best possible oncologic care while also reducing their risk of viral infection during times of potential health care system failure. In this article, we present an approach developed by an international multidisciplinary group to optimize the care of adults with gliomas during this pandemic. We recommend measures to promote strict physical distancing and minimize exposures for patients, address risk and benefit of all therapeutic interventions, proactively develop end-of-life plans, educate patients and caregivers, and ensure the health of the multidisciplinary neuro-oncology workforce. This pandemic is already changing neuro-oncologic care delivery around the globe. It is important to highlight opportunities to maximize the benefit and minimize the risk of glioma management during this pandemic and potentially, in the future.