Consensus statement: summary of the Quebec Lung Cancer Network recommendations for prioritizing patients with thoracic cancers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Background. The emergence of COVID-19 has the potential to change the way the health care system can accommodate various patient populations and may impact patients with non-COVID-19 problematics. The Quebec Lung Cancer Network which oversees the thoracic oncology services in the province of Quebec under the direction of the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux convened in order to develop recommendations to plan for the potential disruption of services in thoracic oncology in the province of Quebec. This summary has been adapted from the original document posted on the Programme Québécois du Cancer web site at: https://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/professionnels/documents/coronavirus-2019-ncov/PJ1_Recommandations_oncologie-thoracique-200415.pdf Methods. Optimization plans to the health care system as well as potential prioritization of services were discussed according to varying levels of activity. For each level of activity scenario, propositions were suggested on the services and treatments to prioritize, those that may need to be postponed and well as potential alternatives to care. Results. The principal recommendation is that the cancer center executive committee and the multidisciplinary tumor board should always try to find a solution to maintain standard of care therapy to all patients with thoracic tumors using as needed novel approaches to treatment and the adoption of a network approach to care. Conclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic effect on the health care system remains unpredictable and requires that cancer teams unite and offer the most efficient and innovative therapies to all patients under the variable conditions that may be forced upon them.