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Research out earlier this year confirms what many doctors had feared: Cancer
screenings dropped significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study, published in the February 2022 edition of Journal of the National
Comprehensive Cancer Network, examined data from the Ontario Cancer Registry in
Canada. The results showed that in March 2020 the week-to-week rate of cancer diagnosis dropped by 34.3%. And this worries doctors, because over the last few decades, the
cancer survival rates have improved, in part because of earlier detection of disease. [1]

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Doctors fear that this disruption to healthcare access may negatively impact early detection of cancers which may lead to serious problems later.

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Marie E. Lamont is Global Head, RWE Data Strategy, Access and Enablement and the general manager of Inteliquet, an IQVIA business. With a goal of ensuring physicians and their patients have access to the latest and best clinical trials, she focuses Inteliquet’s technology enablement on facilitating decision-making and reducing the administrative burden for research centers and healthcare institutions.

Another aspect doctors worry about is that delayed diagnoses and treatments means
that in some cases a patient’s diagnoses may not be brought to light until later stages – stage 3 and 4 – when cancer is more difficult to treat.

Based on the available data, some experts predict a spike in new cancer diagnosis
later this year and in 2023. The main reason, they believe, is pandemic-related, including
lockdowns and fears of the coronavirus – which cause COVID-19.

In addition to early diagnosis, the pandemic also stalled, delayed, or canceled clinical trials.
Based on some estimates, this impacted as many as 60% of all oncology clinical trials and biological therapies in the United States.

One big question remains, what are the real implications of stalling or canceling these
clinical trials?

In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland, Ph,D. talk with Marie E. Lamont, the general manager and chief executive officer of Inteliquet, a company that strives
to match patients to clinical trials, accurately and promptly – or, in other words, the company ensures that physicians and their patients have access to the latest and best clinical trials, using decision, making technology developed by the company.

Reference
[1] Eskander A, Li Q, Yu J, Hallet J, Coburn NG, Dare A, Chan KKW, Singh S, Parmar A, Earle CC, Lapointe-Shaw L, Krzyzanowska MK, Hanna TP, Finelli A, Louie AV, Look Hong N, Irish JC, Witterick IJ, Mahar A, Noel CW, Urbach DR, McIsaac DI, Enepekides D, Sutradhar R. Incident Cancer Detection During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2022 Feb 1:1-9. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2021.7114. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35104788.

Featured image: Doctor talking to a patient. Photo courtesy: © 2016 – 2022. Fotolia/Adobe. Used with permission

 

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