The primary intention of the COVIDSurg-Cancer study was to evaluate the 30-day SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in elective cancer surgery. The end points for that project were restricted to evaluation at a timepoint only four months following the first enrolled case (June 2020) however significant clinically relevant questions that cannot be addressed within the intended study window remain, particularly for Head & Neck Cancer patients.
Of paramount importance for this patient group, is assessment of whether the changes in care, deemed necessary at the time, have had a long-term impact on patient outcomes.
To that end, we will extend follow up analysis for Head & Neck cancer patients through inclusion of mature (12 & 24 month) outcome data and of additional data fields of specific head & neck importance, including aspects such as the influence of modified surgical practices on functional outcomes and disease-free intervals. These data points and assessment timepoints were beyond the remit of the original CovidSurg-Cancer study.
This follow-up study seeks to address the hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic, and unintended consequences of alteration in clinical management, have negatively impacted upon outcomes (survival or otherwise).