Radiation therapy for gynecologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic: International expert consensus recommendations

Christen R. Elledge, Sushil Beriwal, Cyrus Chargari, Supriya Chopra, Beth A. Erickson, David K. Gaffney, Anuja Jhingran, Ann H. Klopp, William Small, Catheryn M. Yashar, Akila N. Viswanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To develop expert consensus recommendations regarding radiation therapy for gynecologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: An international committee of ten experts in gynecologic radiation oncology convened to provide consensus recommendations for patients with gynecologic malignancies referred for radiation therapy. Treatment priority groups were established. A review of the relevant literature was performed and different clinical scenarios were categorized into three priority groups. For each stage and clinical scenario in cervical, endometrial, vulvar, vaginal and ovarian cancer, specific recommendations regarding dose, technique, and timing were provided by the panel. Results: Expert review and discussion generated consensus recommendations to guide radiation oncologists treating gynecologic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority scales for cervical, endometrial, vulvar, vaginal, and ovarian cancers are presented. Both radical and palliative treatments are discussed. Management of COVID-19 positive patients is considered. Hypofractionated radiation therapy should be used when feasible and recommendations regarding radiation dose, timing, and technique have been provided for external beam and brachytherapy treatments. Concurrent chemotherapy may be limited in some countries, and consideration of radiation alone is recommended. Conclusions: The expert consensus recommendations provide guidance for delivering radiation therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific recommendations have been provided for common clinical scenarios encountered in gynecologic radiation oncology with a focus on strategies to reduce patient and staff exposure to COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-253
Number of pages10
JournalGynecologic oncology
Volume158
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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