Organization Urges That Patients With Lung Cancer Worldwide Have Access to COVID-19 Vaccine

March 5, 2021
Ryan McDonald

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer recently joined more than 100 cancer centers and organizations in urging leading public health officials to prioritize administering the COVID-19 vaccine to cancer survivors and patients undergoing treatment for the disease.

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) recently joined more than 100 cancer centers and organizations in requesting that leading public health officials, President Joseph Biden and other members of the administration prioritize the delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine to cancer survivors and patients receiving active treatment.

“It is well known that patients suffering from oncological or onco-hematological neoplastic diseases, as well as other pathologies associated with immunosuppression, are particularly at risk, in regard to both the morbidity and the lethality related to respiratory virus infections, such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19),” IASLC President Dr. Tetsuya Mitsudomi said in a press release.

Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in the world, and the leading cause of cancer death, according to data recently published in A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Recently published data from the TERAVOLT global registry study demonstrated that patients with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer face a higher risk of complications and death if they contract COVID-19.

Moreover, data recently presented at a medical conference demonstrated that, compared to patients with breast cancer and lymphoma, patients with lung cancer experienced higher levels of general distress, depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, study results have also shown that the pandemic may have negatively impacted patients’ ability to access lung cancer care.

“Making mass vaccination a priority for every cancer patient, including those with thoracic malignancies, should be a top priority for each country,” Mitsudomi, a professor of thoracic surgery at Kindai University in Osaka, Japan, said. “In addition, for high-risk individuals, screening programs for the early detection of lung cancer can be boosted, leading to the long-term impact of lung cancer mortality. We must protect our patients and continue our efforts to diagnose and treat them in a timely and safe manner.”

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