Radiotherapy in Cancer Treatment During The Covid-19 Pandemic: One Year Results From Northeast Turkey
Özlem AYNACI1,Lasif SERDAR2,Sema RAKICI3,Seher KAZAZ4,Emine CANYILMAZ1,Zümrüt BAHAT1,Ahmet Yaşar ZENGİN2
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine, Trabzon-Turkey
2Department of Radiation Oncology, Kanuni Training and Research Hospital, Trabzon-Turkey
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University Faculty of Medicine, Rize-Turkey
4Department of Medical Oncology, Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine, Trabzon-Turkey
DOI : 10.5505/tjo.2022.3463 OBJECTIVE
The goal of this article was to assess the effects and consequences of strict measures in radiation oncology centers in northeastern Turkey during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic and to ensure that the reorganization of programs occurred without interruption to radiotherapy (RT).

We retrospectively reviewed the records of 1063 patients (median age 63 years; range 3-93 years) who were treated in RT centers from March 2020 to March 2021. The study cohort was divided into two groups: Group A consisted of patients who received RT in the first 6 months and Group B comprised patients who received RT in the second 6 months.

The age distribution was similar in both groups. The analysis of the intent of treatment showed that 585 (55%) patients were treated with a radical intent in Group A, whereas only 478 (45%) were treated with a radical intent in Group B. Lung, breast, and genitourinary cancers were the most common cancer types in both periods. There was a significant decline in the number of female patients in Group B. Test results of 31 (2.9%) patients, 8 (25.8%) women and 23 (74.2%) men, who had nasopharyngeal swabs, were positive.

This study shows that oncology patients in our region are more worried about disease progression than the pandemic and insist on going to RT, especially during the first 6-month period when the pandemic was thought to be temporary. As a result of careful precautions, treatments in the clinics continued without contamination. Keywords : COVID-19; clinical characteristics; radiotherapy; workflow