Frontiers
Browse
DataSheet_1_The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Childhood Cancer Outcomes and Care Delivery - A Systematic Review.docx (280.98 kB)

DataSheet_1_The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Childhood Cancer Outcomes and Care Delivery - A Systematic Review.docx

Download (280.98 kB)
dataset
posted on 2022-04-07, 21:35 authored by Amna Majeed, Tom Wright, Biqi Guo, Ramandeep S. Arora, Catherine G. Lam, Alexandra L. Martiniuk
Background

Childhood cancer represents a leading cause of death and disease burden in high income countries (HICs) and low-and-middle income countries (LMICs). It is postulated that the current COVID-19 pandemic has hampered global development of pediatric oncology care programs. This systematic review aimed to comprehensively review the global impact of COVID-19 on childhood cancer clinical outcomes and care delivery.

Methods

A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Embase, Medline, and the African Medical Index from inception to November 3, 2021 following PRISMA guidelines. A manual search was performed to identify additional relevant studies. Articles were selected based on predetermined eligibility criteria.

Findings

The majority of studies reported patients with cancer and COVID-19 presenting as asymptomatic (HICs: 33.7%, LMICs: 22.0%) or with primary manifestations of fever (HICs: 36.1%, LMICs: 51.4%) and respiratory symptoms (HICs: 29.6%, LMICs: 11.7%). LMICs also reported a high frequency of patients presenting with cough (23.6%) and gastrointestinal symptoms (10.6%). The majority of patients were generally noted to have a good prognosis; however the crude mortality rate was higher in LMICs when compared to HICs (8.0% vs 1.8%). Moreover, the pandemic has resulted in delays and interruptions to cancer therapies and delays in childhood cancer diagnoses in both HICs and LMICs. However, these findings were disproportionately reported in LMICs, with significant staff shortages, supply chain disruptions, and limited access to cancer therapies for patients.

Conclusions

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in delays and interruptions to childhood cancer therapies and delays in childhood cancer diagnoses, and disproportionately so within LMICs. This review provides lessons learned for future system-wide disruptions to care, as well as provides key points for moving forward better with care through the remainder of this pandemic.

Systematic Review Registration

CRD42021266758, https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=266758

History