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CME: Treating Oncology Patients During COVID-19


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in health care delivery worldwide, affecting the way that nearly every medical specialty can safely practice. As with other fields of medicine, oncology has its own challenges in navigating the pandemic. Based on pre-pandemic estimates, 1.8 million new cancer diagnoses would be expected in 2020, equating to approximately 5,000 new cancer diagnoses per day. Evidence thus far suggests that COVID-19 is associated with significantly more complications and a higher risk of death in patients with cancer or with a history of cancer. Furthermore, patients with cancer have also been shown to have a higher COVID-19 infection rate than the general population, suggesting increased susceptibility, potentially due to immunosuppression, comorbidities, or poor health status related to cancer or its treatment. Based on these data, oncology specialists are said to be fighting “a war on two fronts” by balancing the risks of COVID-19 transmission and acquisition with the risks of delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment. This represents an unmet need among oncology practitioners as they navigate this new health care landscape.

Target Audience:

Healthcare professionals, including medical oncologists; radiation oncologists; surgical oncologists; surgeons; radiologists; nuclear medicine specialists; nurse practitioners and physician assistants who practice in oncology; and other healthcare providers who manage cancer.

This program is supported by educational grants from Pharmacyclics and Janssen

This activity is free of charge.

Release Date: September 22, 2020 -- Expiration Date: September 22, 2022

Faculty: Elizabeta Popa, MD


Faculty introduction, disclosures

Introduction content

  • Current state of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Natural history of disease
    • Asymptomatic period
    • Common clinical presentations
    • Asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission

Treating patients with cancer during COVID-19

  • Prescreening and screening

o   Phone and virtual triage

o   Questionnaires

o   Distinguishing between cancer symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms

o   Recommendations for positive screens

  • Infection control practices
  • Risks and benefits of delaying treatment

o   Morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in cancer patients

o   Distinguishing between indolent and aggressive disease

o   Data surrounding delayed treatment in various cancer types

  • Distance-based oncology care

o   Harnessing technology during COVID-19

o   Clinical trial and retrospective study data

o   Remote monitoring after treatment

  • Risks and benefits of delaying screening

o   Screening recommendations

o   Identifying high risk patients

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Recall the symptoms of COVID-19 infection and best practices for screening patients, health care providers, and staff in the oncology setting.
  • Develop a plan to provide oncology care in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Describe the risks of delaying cancer diagnosis and treatment against the risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection.


ACCME Activity #201540545


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.

Faculty: Elizabeta Cristina Popa, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital, has no relevant financial disclosures. 

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, CEO of ScientiaCME, has no relevant financial disclosures.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by educational grants from Pharmacyclics and Janssen


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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